Hillgrove defensive end Myles Murphy has already accomplished a lot as an individual, but it is his team that truly benefits from his play on the field.
Murphy, who is a two-time member of the Marietta Daily Journal Dynamite Dozen, is the 10th best senior prospect in the country, and is the third highest rated prospect to come out of Cobb County since before 2002, according to Rivals.
These are lofty accomplishments, but they are even greater considering that the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end said that he is double teamed or chip blocked on almost every play.
“People pay him a lot of attention,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. “He’s a kid you game plan for.”
Ironside said that Murphy has good speed and explosiveness, in addition to his size, so it is not surprising that teams need multiple players to block him.
“When he decides ‘I’m going’ people have a real hard time stopping him,” Ironside said.
The extra attention has prevented Murphy from putting up top tier stats, as the pass rushing specialist made 55 tackles and five sacks last season, but Murphy explained that individual success is not all that matters.
“My personal stats probably won’t be as successful, but helping the team, it will be successful because it takes a few blockers away from the other D-linemen or the linebackers blitzing.”
Multiple Hillgrove defenders were helped by Murphy’s presence in 2018, including Isiah Grant, who played across the line from Murphy and finished with 12-and-a-half sacks on the year.
“Isiah Grant had a great year. Part of it is because Isiah Grant has a great motor, but part of it is because people were running from Myles, headed in the other direction,” Ironside said.
Murphy said that he enjoys playing defensive end because of the solo competition with linemen that the position offers.
“It’s kind of like a one-on-one situation, its mono a mono, you and him, and (you’re) trying to get to an objective. His objective is to keep you from getting to the quarterback. Your objective is to get to the quarterback.”
While that is somewhat ironic coming from a rusher that is rarely sees only one blocker, the Hillgrove defensive end may see more of that one-on-one competition at the next level.
Murphy, who has 16 offers, committed to Clemson in May, and chose to play for the Tigers over Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan. It seems that he will continue the recent trend of Clemson D-line dominance alongside fellow Tiger commit Bryan Bresee, who is Rivals’ top rated defensive tackle.
The athletic big man may also get to show off his coverage skills for the first time at Clemson.
“I’m going to be at defensive end no matter what,” Murphy said, “but the way they play their d-ends is they stand up and they put their hand in the ground, so I’m gonna be rushing the passer, playing the run, and also dropping back in pass coverage in the flats and in the middle.”
However, after losing by one point to Milton in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 playoffs, Murphy is not focused on Tigertown yet.
“We have tunnel vision, not paying attention to the outside world saying, ‘Oh y’all lost by one point, y’all should’ve had it.’” Murphy said. “We know we should’ve had it but we’re focusing on the next season so right now we’re just grinding, putting in work. Honestly we just have to start from where we were last year at the beginning of the season, because what’s in the past is in the past and we just have to keep moving forward.”