Back during spring practice this past year, Saguaro, which always has athletes running all over the field, had a new face that was turning some heads. It was transfer defensive back and wide receiver Byron Murphy who at that time, did not have any college offers.
Fast forward to the end of September and Murphy has become one of the most sought after prospects for the 2016 class in Arizona now sporting nine offers which include major programs like Arizona State and most recently, Michigan State and Tennessee. How life has changed for the young Sabercat in less than a year.
“It’s been crazy,” said Murphy after Saguaro’s 56-2 win over Apache Junction on Friday. “Going from no offers to a lot, and I just need to keep on working. It’s felt amazing, the journey has been amazing. Coach (Jason) Mohns has put a lot of effort into getting me offers and have to just keep on working.”
“The kid is a phenomenal player,” mentioned Saguaro Head Coach Mohns. “He’s got great ball skills, he’s a physical cover corner, great man, great zone. He just makes plays all over the field.”
The moment Murphy first stepped foot on campus at Saguaro, he was paired with the top player in the state, Christian Kirk. Kirk, who has long been praised for not just his ability but also his work ethic and business like approach, has pushed Murphy while the two are partnered in the weight room and face off against one another every day in practice.
“We said Christian, take him under your wing because this kid’s got talent,” mentioned Mohns. “They’ve buddied up and he just tries to do things like Christian does. He’s still got work to do as fa as being a professional all the time like Christian is, but he is getting there and he understands that he’s got to put in the work.”
“In practice, me and him go at it all the time,” Murphy mentioned about Kirk. “He just gets me better at practice when I have to go one-on-one against him.”
Murphy is also a standout basketball player who will be suiting up for the varsity Saguaro squad this upcoming season. The skills he has on the court translate to the field being a defensive back and visa versa.
“With my footwork on the court, it makes me more explosive and when I am DB on the field, it helps me guard people on the court,” he explained.
Murphy had two interceptions in the game on friday bringing his total to three on the season in four games and also added a kick-off return for a touchdown to his all-purpose play as well.