The Washington Huskies are in town for the Fiesta Bowl, which means cornerback Byron Murphy and quarterback Daniel Bridge-Gadd get to come home for the holidays.
Murphy was a part of a string of elite Saguaro recruits who are now at prominent college programs, and Bridge-Gadd was a record-setting quarterback for Paradise Valley. Now, the two donn the purple and gold.
Head coach Chris Petersen said Murphy was ready to be in the starting lineup last year as a true freshman, but due to multiple members of the Husky secondary who were NFL-bound, including Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker, led to him redshirting.
*Check out what Baker had to say about Murphy and Daniel Bridge-Gadd below*
“I think it was the best thing for me to become, like a said, a man,” Murphy said. “I was still learning the new system, learning the new defense, so I think redshirting was the best thing for me just talking to (defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake) about it in the meetings and stuff we had. I had to obviously learn the defense.”
Murphy started off the season with two interceptions against Rutgers, but he broke his foot and missed significant time this season. In five games, he has two interceptions and six passes defended.
Bridge-Gadd has spent his first two seasons with the Huskies on the scout team, but has been a valuable asset when Washington preps for a mobile quarterback. “DBG” rushed for 627 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior with the Trojans in addition to his 47 passing touchdowns that year.
He said it was a bit of a transition to college life, but he has grown through the process.
“I feel like I learned a lot,” Bridge-Gadd said. “I feel like it broadened my football horizons as far as my knowledge of the game especially coming in early and getting that spring ball in. It really helped me get ahead as far as my football knwoledge and mechanics and all that.”
The Washington Huskies and Penn State Nittany Lions face off in the Fiesta Bowl on December 30th at 2 p.m..