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Commitment Spotlight – Byron Murphy II

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A month ago, Texas lost a four-star commit as Billy Bowman Jr. flipped from Texas to Oklahoma. On Wednesday the Longhorns had some good news, with the commitment of Byron Murphy after he de-committed from Baylor.

Murphy is a four-star defensive tackle via 247Sports. He’s ranked as the 21st best defensive tackle in football and overall the 46th best player in the state of Texas for the class of 2021. Murphy originally committed to Baylor back in June, but then tweeted at 11 AM yesterday that he was reopening his recruitment. About an hour later, he made it official, announcing he was becoming a Longhorn.

Murphy and DeSoto so far this season are 5-1 and are one of the best teams in the state of Texas. Their lone loss this year was by seven-points at the hands of Cedar Hill. Murphy has headlined the defense as he is second on the team in tackles (40), second in tackles for a loss (seven) and second in sacks (five) in just six games.

The 6’1 near 300-pound interior defensive lineman last season was a unanimous first-team all-district selection as a junior and just recently received his fourth star on 247Sports. In his high school career Murphy has compiled 28 tackles for a loss, 175 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and five forced fumbles.

Murphy becomes the 19th hard commit to the 2020 class for the Longhorns. Texas now holds the 17th ranked class nationally via 247Sports and the second-ranked class in the Big-12.

Player Information

Name: Byron Murphy
Position: Defensive Tackle
High School: DeSoto
City, State: DeSoto, TX

Measurables

Height: 6’1
Weight: 290

Film

Three Best Traits

Plays well in a 4-3 scheme – Murphy plays in a base 4-3 scheme at DeSoto and is wildly successful in it. Texas and new defensive coordinator Chris Ash recently switched to a 4-3 scheme from a 3-3-5 base. Thus, Murphy will fit right into what Texas does on the defensive side of the football. He’s a guy who they can plug right in on day one and will be able to find immediate success for Texas.

Quickness – What Murphy lacks in size he makes up for with his quickness. In a blink of an eye he can be harassing the opposing quarterback in the backfield. Interior linemen aren’t known for accumulating sacks yet Murhpy excels at it. Furthermore, his ability to move quickly around opposing centers and guards also helps him in the run game as he can meet running backs at the line of scrimmage and clog up the hole if it’s near him.

Winning culture – With the recent struggles of Texas football, the program needs players who come from a winning culture and can hold the team to their standards. Murphy fits that build. DeSoto in recent memory has been one of the more successful high school football programs in all of Texas. The Longhorns’ last two commitments have come from successful programs with Murphy and Terrence Cooks from Shadow Creek. It’s clear Texas has a plan to change the culture and it starts with commitments from guys like Murphy.

Areas for Improvement 

Run defense – Even though Murphy is a defensive tackle, he is a better pass-rusher than he is a run stopper. Murphy is solid at stopping the run but usually is helped out by his fellow four-star freak athletes on the defensive line. Can he be a guy that at the next level can clog up the hole and stop the run in its tracks? Only time will tell.

Undersized – Murphy stands at just 6’1 tall. Among the top-24 defensive tackles in the 2021 class via 247Sports, Murphy is tied for the shortest. Luckily he does make up for it with his 290 pound frame. Still, if he can add a little more to his frame while maintaining his quickness and elusiveness, he can be a problem for any interior offensive lineman.

Summary

Byron Murphy is a 6’1 290-pound defensive tackle who will be ready to contribute on day one. He plays exceptionally well in a base 4-3 scheme and is among one of the quicker interior defensive linemen in the country. Murphy marks the second commitment Texas has landed in the past couple of days joining Shadow Creek linebacker Terrence Cooks. He becomes the third true defensive lineman commit in Texas’s 2021 class. He joins four-star defensive ends Derrick Harris Jr. and Jordon Thomas. Five-star athlete Ja’Tavion Sanders is also expected to play on the defensive line. With the recent struggles and de-commitments that have plagued the Longhorns as of late, it’s refreshing to see Texas get back on track with a win over Oklahoma State and landing commitments from two four-star talents.

Final Verdict

Murphy is a great commitment for Texas and is a guy that helps Texas’s defensive class for the future. With Texas landing Cooks and now Murphy, the recruitment cycle for 2021 and beyond is back on track for the Longhorns. 11 of the 19 hard commits for Texas are now on the defensive side of the ball. There’s no denying that Texas is trying to load up on defense to match the electric Big-12 offenses. Texas has allowed more than 50 points in multiple games this season so their focus on defense in this class makes sense. Murphy is a guy who will be able to help right away for Texas and can be a force for many years to come. If he can add some size, the Big-12’s interior offensive linemen need to watch out.

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