A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile a converted defensive end.
Clarence Murphy, Sophomore (RS), Linebacker, #98
Major: Letters and Sciences
Twitter: Couldn't find any, but I did find this guy who says he's "very talented yet humble". Sounds like he's got his stuff together.
Collegiate Stats: Three tackles (three assisted)
High School Stats (Senior Year): 75 tackles, 12 sacks, three deflected passes
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#94 in Fla.), Scout (#84 DE), ESPN (#92 DE)
High School: Hollywood Hills
Hometown: Hollywood, Fla.
High School Highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Murphy was thought to be a package deal with star teammate and cornerback Tony Grimes coming out of high school, and there was a time where it looked like they would go to Michigan together. However, Murphy committed to Maryland thanks to Don Brown, and Grimes ended up at Ole Miss.
Murphy chose Maryland because they were the first big school to recruit him, and he soon became very comfortable with Don Brown and Dave Sollazzo, who naturally are no longer in the program. Other schools to offer the defensive linemen included Michigan, South Florida, and Wisconsin.
After his great senior season, in which he led Broward County in sacks, he was named first team all-County and played in the 2010 USA vs. The World game. He is also a super hero:
"We had an incident where a car overturned in a canal," [coach Scott] Barnwell said. "[Murphy] was with me and helped me rescue a baby and two people trapped in the car. There was a 2-year old in the car seat. The door had broken through and the car seat became wedged. On the other side, there was a lady unconscious in the water. It was kind of a nightmare — I can’t even tell you. But [Murphy] completely ripped the car door right off that was trapped. I don’t know how he did it, but he did it. It’s a wonderful thing that he did. That’s the kind of kid [Maryland is] getting in the program."
Murphy redshirted in 2010, and entered the 2011 season on top of the depth chart at one of the two defensive end positions. Instead, fellow Floridian freshman Keith Bowers got the nod, and Murphy played in just two games - recording one tackle against Miami and two versus Temple. He was two time defensive scout team player of the week.
Before spring practice, Murphy was moved from defensive end to outside linebacker.
Clarence "Big Man" Murphy
Being named the starter at defensive end prior to last season.
Not holding on to that job.
Garbage time against William & Mary.
On the depth chart that came out about three months ago, before spring practice, Clarence Murphy is listed third at WILL, behind Marcus Whitfield and starter Darin Drakeford. Maryland is obviously going for a more physical kind of linebacker at the third spot, as two of those guys used to play on the line and Drakeford is a massive guy.
In all honesty, it wouldn't be surprising to see Murphy getting the second-most snaps at WILL, and then becoming the starter there next year (barring a young guy breaking through). Drakeford is set as the starter and has had an underratedly-great career as a Terp, but Whitfield is the definition of injury-prone and we don't know how many games Maryland is going to get out of him.
It's safe to assume there will be a transition period for Murphy moving to linebacker, and the hope is that he'll shed some pounds to get quicker, but it'll certainly be an interesting experiment. It's one that makes sense - like we said, Maryland is going for a more physical, stronger linebacker at WILL, and with former tackles like Joe Vellano and Andre Monroe moving to end it just makes sense for some of the more athletic guys to move back to linebacker.
Our next player is from the same high school as one of the walk-on linebackers.