Arizona and Arizona State both appear to be on the rise in college football, but so far that rise on the field has not translated to them keeping all of the top in-state targets home. This year they are going to be in tough to land another great player from Scottsdale, Arizona as Saguaro cornerback Byron Murphy does not appear to have either near the top of his list.
I’m sure they will be working hard to somehow change that though, because Murphy is one of the top cornerbacks out west and may end up being rated as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation before the recruiting process is completed for the class of 2016.
Murphy is a fluid athlete with good speed. He isn’t a burner, but runs really well and has good change of direction skills. He needs to add weight and get stronger, but overall has a good size and frame to play corner at the next level.
Murphy is outstanding play press man coverage. He can be physical at the line and has great mirroring skills. He adjusts well to double moves and has the speed to recover if he loses a step. He’s competed one on one in camps against some of the top players on the west coast and really shined, but most importantly he shows these skills on his game film.
His instincts are tremendous. He sees routes or a quarterback about to throw and breaks off his responsibility to step out of nowhere to either make a tackle or a play on the football. His ball skills are very good as well, which is also evident with him at receiver. He will get up to high point the football.
He does a great job of getting off of blocks to support the run. He is not a super physical tackler, but this should hopefully improve once he adds some weight.
Murphy is most likely a field corner, but he has the skills to play the nickel as well.
I think Murphy is good enough to compete for playing time very early in his career and has the potential to be a high level starter multiple seasons. If he can handle elite deep speed, then I think he is the kind of player who could handle just about anyone in man coverage.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).