Jason Murphy is a 6'3, 305-pound offensive guard out of Virginia Tech who should receive a phone call on day two of the NFL Draft this April. A big, strong lineman with a physical style of play and quick footwork, he switched from defensive tackle following his freshman year to offensive guard. And he flourished, earning All-ACC honors following his final season in 2005.
He's now working out in Denver, Colorado as he prepares himself for the NFL.
Here's what he had to say about his past, his future, and his approach to the
game of football.
Question: You started out as a defensive tackle at Virginia Tech after posting 60 sacks in Baltimore during your high school career. Tell us how the decision came about to switch you to the offensive line.
Answer: I guess it came mainly to get me on the field a little earlier. When I came out of high school I played defensive tackle and offensive guard, so they decided to give me a chance there and I just took advantage of it.
Q: Did you find you were more comfortable on the offensive side once you got settled in?
A: At first it wasn't all that comfortable because I had been playing on the defensive side and was working on it at Virginia Tech. Defense is more of a run-type of position where you would shoot out at a person, where at offensive guard it was more about keeping your balance and keeping control at all times.
Q: Your teammates honored you as the most team-oriented player and hardest worker. What do you feel you did to earn that distinction?
A: I just went out there and put it all out on the football field – even at practice. You've got to practice the way you want to play. So I practice hard and focus on doing things right on the field. Off the field I'd try to help some of the younger guys.
Q: Tell us a bit about the "Chain Gang Award" that you won in college.
A: The Chain Gang Award is based on the coach grading each player. And if you grade out over 80% in at least eight of the games, then you make the Chain Gang.
Q: You were selected to play in the Hula Bowl. How do you feel your performance there helped make your case that you belong in the NFL?
A: It gave me a chance to go against some different players and be seen going up against some of the top players in college football. It may not have been the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine Game, but there was still top talent there. I think it gave the scouts a good look at what kind of player I am and the type of work ethic I have.
Q: Now you aren't going to the Combine next week, but tell us about what you're currently doing to keep improving your technique and to help raise your profile while you await the NFL draft.
A: My agent, Domann & Pittmann, they've got me working out in Denver, Colorado with Leo Goeas, who was in the NFL for close to ten years. I'm trying to critique and work on my hand position and my footwork. He's been giving me and some other offensive linemen insight on what to expect in the NFL once we get there.
Q: How would you describe your attitude out on the football field?
A: I'm a very excited player.
But I'm not a real uptight guy when I'm out on the football field. I like to
be loose and ready for anything that the defense might throw at me. And I'm a
very competitive person out there. No one likes to lose, but I definitely
don't like to lose.