Posted by Bryan Fischer
In what is turning out to be an excellent year for offensive linemen on the West Coast - maybe the best in a decade - it is starting to get hard to say just who is the best of the best. One player who has no trouble standing out at 6-foot-7, 275 pounds is San Clemente (Calif.) tackle Kyle Murphy.
Based on his performance at the Stanford Nike Camp, it's also no trouble for talent evaluators everywhere to say he's one of the top guys in Southern California and is in the running for a spot in everybody's top 100. The camp didn't feature a ton of top flight defensive linemen but playing next to other tackles like Erik Magnuson and Cedrick Poutasi allowed Murphy to elevate his game this past weekend.
"I think it's good just to give you a little feel for what the next level might be like. It's nice to come out and compete against some elite athletes," Murphy said. "Playing with guys who are at a high level raises your game a little because you're playing against them. It does help you improve."
Murphy's services along the line are being pursued by schools across the country and he recently picked up scholarship offers from two major programs to add to his list of nearly 30 offers.
"Last week Oklahoma did and Alabama did as well," he said. "They're pretty big offers but I haven't really looked at them real closely just because I live in Southern California. Oklahoma and Alabama are pretty far away. Football-wise they're some of the top programs and pretty good school-wise. They're both national contenders year in and year out so that's definitely something to look at."
At the moment, it looks as though Murphy will stay closer to home and play for a Pac-12 university but that's still to be decided. College recruiters from schools outside the region are stopping by his high school on a daily basis during the Evaluation Period and constantly calling hoping the talented left tackle will consider a school outside of his comfort zone. Even he admits it's up in the air as to where he'll go so there's a little hope for the out of state recruiters.
"I'm just not sure yet," Murphy said. "I still have to check out places that are far away from home to see if I'm comfortable there.
The senior-to-be isn't ready to name a top five quite yet but he is pretty set in what he's looking for in a school.
"Not really, I'm still staying pretty open in my recruitment," Murphy said. "I'm looking for a good football program where I can have success in and has good, solid academics. I want to get myself a good degree. Just the people that are around too, the coaches, the people, the players; just to make sure I fit in at the right place and enjoy myself for the next four or five years."
Three schools where Murphy has already unofficially visited seem to be in the lead however. All three are close to home and offer the mix of academics and football success he's looking for.
"USC is coming after me pretty hard," he said. "I'd say the schools that are coming after me the most are probably USC, Stanford and Cal. We've stopped by Stanford for a little bit and talked with the coaches."
The trip to Palo Alto for the Nike Camp is one of Murphy's few camp stops. His summer camp and unofficial visit schedule isn't set yet but it sounds like he'll be trying to keep it light while focusing on what he needs to do for his recruitment.
"No plans right now," he said. "I might head to the USC (Rising Stars) Camp. As far as trips go, I might go to a few places just to check them out ahead of officials. Where I'm not sure."
At least we're sure that Murphy is one of the most talented tackles on the West Coast and it appears that just about every college coach agrees.