Rising Murphy on visit, Cougs

YOU MAY NOT have heard that much this recruiting season about him -- but he's suddenly picked up three Pac-10 offers over just the last month or so, including one from Washington State. The 6-2, 205-pounder with 4.42 speed was at Wazzu this past weekend and came away beaming.

Ryan Murphy said he wasn't expecting the level of fan support and Cougar pride he witnessed over the course of the weekend.

"The whole town is Coug Football -- all day long," said Murphy. "It's 24-7. And it never stops. That made me feel comfortable.

"It was better than what I was expecting, I liked it a lot. The coaching staff was very, very enthused about me coming there and I was the same while I was there."

Murphy was his league's rushing champion this season -- he ripped of 1,983 ground yards in '09 -- but his best position at the next level might well be on defense. Tackle numbers were unavailable but Murphy estimated he had four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery for a touchdown and two interceptions. One of the first things he did after he got to Pullman was to sit down and talk defense with assistant Chris Ball.

"Coach Ball is a great person. I liked him a lot...Coach Wulff is an awesome guy. He's very down to earth and he was telling me about the turnaround. And then I met with the players and they were telling me about the turnaround and their will. They're hungry, they're ready for the season to start and to start the turnaround, and I liked that," said Murphy.

MURPHY, WHO SAID he was impressed by WSU's academic presentation during his visit, spent a great deal of time talking to many of the younger players in the football program.

"The true freshmen are really enthused about going into their sophomore season," said Murphy. "And the redshirting guys, they're maybe even more hungry. They're all very competitive, even just hanging out and playing board games.

"They are dedicated. And I talked with a few of the freshmen and they told me about the other offers they could have taken and basically, the message I got from all of them was this: If they didn't believe a turnaround was going to happen at Washington State, they wouldn't be there. They believe, and that was what I was pretty impressed with, that's what makes me feel more comfortable with Washington State -- it's a turnaround the players believe in, it's going to happen."

MURPHY HOLDS OFFERS from Washington State, Arizona State and Oregon State. He'll trip to OSU this weekend. He's also hearing UCLA, Fresno State and Cal.

"(Schools) were surprised by my speed but the first thing they mention is my love for the game...the passion I play with every down," said Murphy.

"Oregon State is looking at me more as an athlete, I'm not sure if they want me at halfback or at safety. Arizona State is looking at me as an athlete as well but more towards defense. And then Wazzu, they're leaning towards safety."

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