Recruiting Trail: Murphy looks to lead West Point to another title

Marcus Murphy, left, and a young fan
By: 
ROBBIE FAULK
Staff Writer

Chris Chambless has developed one of the best programs in the state of Mississippi just up the road in West Point and the Green Wave won't be stopping that train any time soon. From former Mississippi State Bulldogs Justin Cox to Alabama freshman Scott Lashley and all of the unsung heroes in between, Chambless has also been blessed with talent at West Point.

Last year, junior athlete Marcus Murphy led the way in the Green Wave's run to a Class 5A State championship. Murphy was an absolute work horse last season running Wildcat quarterback and running back on his way to 1,756 yards and 25 touchdowns. His 33 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns in the state title game against Laurel won't soon be forgotten as he earned Most Valuable Player honors.

A 14-1 season was most definitely one to remember for the talented player whose only loss came to Starkville HIgh early in the season. From there, West Point rolled.

"It was surprising, but that's what we worked for," Murphy said of the state championship. "That was our main goal and we did it." It was shortly after that performance that the Mississippi State commitment opened up his recruitment again. Schools had become much more interested in his potential and he admits he wanted to see what would happen.

Michigan and Tennessee were a couple of the schools that started to push the 247Sports four star recruit but everything led back to MSU in the end. On May 2, he was back on board with the Bulldogs.

"When I decommitted, I just wanted to take a step back and analyze things with my parents," Murphy said. "When I took that step back, it helped me figure out the pros and cons on every school. State came out on top. "I feel comfortable over here and feel like I can get better at everything; academically and on the field."

Since the beginning of Murphy's recruitment, coach Dan Mullen has had a plan to utilize his skills on defense in the future. The 6-1, 190-pounder has shown what he can do on the offensive side of the ball but coverage and technique are things that he's learning. This summer Murphy camped at MSU and worked with safeties coach Ron English as well as several current players.

He took in all the instruction he could to prepare him for his future. "It's been a good process to learn from him," Murphy said of English. "It was my first time to ever work at safety and he and Mark (McLaurin) taught me a lot. It's a learning process for me and I took notes on it and took it in. "I still have to get used to it. I'm still in that offensive mode so it's going to be a big switch over."

The season is just a couple of months away as Murphy begins his final year playing for the Green Wave. He sees no reason why they shouldn't bring home yet another gold trophy.

"I feel like we're going to be better defensive wise," Murphy said of West Point. "Once our quarterback left, we had another guy step up and be the man and he's done a pretty good job. I'll be a Wildcat guy and a slot receiver. Chris Calvert has running back on lock so it should be fun."

As for his recruitment, he's locked that up. He's now turned himself into a recruiter for the Bulldogs and has his sights on several targets in the class. "(Olive Branch cornerback) Jaylon Reed is the top target," Murphy said. "We've been buddies way before the offers and we're going to hopefully come out together. I'm very close with all of the prospects and we have a group message that keeps things going."

Category: