Senator junior collecting D1 offers

Staff Writer Josh Lewis

When Caleb Murphy was in eighth grade he told his dad that he wanted to play college football. What started as a dream is now moving closer to reality.

It’s been a whirlwind start to 2019 for Murphy. The West Washington junior is a standout on the football team and has been garnering a ton of attention on the recruiting trail in the last couple months by catching the eyes of many area Division 1 football programs.

Murphy said it’s been a crazy ride so far. “It’s been incredible. It’s something I’ve wanted since a young age. All the people in the school, my parents, and my support system has helped me achieve this dream,” he said. “It’s just been the confirmation that all the hard work and all the help from people around me was worth it.”

Murphy credits a higher power with much of his success. “Even before we knew I had a shot, I told my dad in the eighth grade that I wanted to play college football. From there, God blessed me. Not everybody gets to be 6’4”. Not everybody gets to have a great support system around them. It was really something from a young age that I wanted it.”

He's received nearly 10 offers from respected schools to play football for them — Ball State, Harvard, the Air Force Academy and others.

West Washington Head Football Coach Phillip Bowsman said it’s been cool to see it all unfold and build to what it’s become. “It’s pretty interesting. You kind of know with college that once a couple notice him that gets out there – especially with social media – it’s a snowball effect. It starts coming in like that and that’s what happened,” he explained. “Ball State sat in my office in January, and they offered him that night. From that point on he’s been getting offers and looks from Big Ten schools and Boston College in the ACC. A lot of schools from the Midwest. UCLA contacted me yesterday. It’s interesting to see the different schools that are contacting him. It’s exciting for him and he’s done a great job with it; staying humble and taking it all in.”

Murphy is keeping his options open. Playing in the Big 10 is his ultimate dream, but Murphy said right now he is open to all the schools. “I want to play in the Big 10 if that’s something that comes. Right now we are just going everywhere and seeing what schools are like and I really want to be somewhere that feels like home.”

Murphy also admitted that IU is his favorite school as he’s grown up in southern Indiana, so an offer from IU would be big for him, but he also really liked what he saw during a visit to Minnesota.

As the recruiting process continues, Bowsman said the coaching staff has tried to give Murphy some guidance. He said they have told him to find a good home academically, but also not to eliminate any school too early.

“The one thing is staying humble. The other is that even if a coach contacts you from a college you have no interest in you still communicate with him in a way to learn everything you can about that college before you take them off the list,” Bowsman said. “Don’t make any cuts on your list ‘til June or July. Look at the academics of a school. You need to know your first priority is your education. If you get injured all you have to fall back on is your education. We are preaching hard to him about making those decisions and how to communicate with those coaches.”

You can read the full story in tonight's Salem Leader.



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