Jake Murphy following father’s footsteps in a different sport

Story posted April 18, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio, NFL Draft by Patrick Woo

Jake Murphy had a chance to leave the University of Utah early to pursue his dream of playing professional sports.

“They wanted me to quit football,” the 6-foot-4, 250 pound tight end said. “That obviously wasn’t happening. It’s just too hard for me to leave football. I really found out how much I love this game.”

Murphy had an offer to join the Toronto Blue Jays organization after his freshman year at Utah but it wasn’t what he ultimately wanted.

“My love for football is what overcame all that.”

So now this time Murphy does leave Utah early, forgoing his senior season of eligibility, as an under-the-radar tight end prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft.

“People look at my numbers and they only see 25 catches and five touchdowns,” he said while noting he missed four games with a wrist injury in 2013. “I truly believe that if I played in every game that I could’ve led the conference in every statistic as a tight end.”

Murphy should hear his name called in the middle rounds of this May’s draft. He doesn’t think his age and two-year absence from college football due to his Mormon mission will play a role in his draft stock.

“The two years I spent (in Sydney, Australia) helped me grow as a person and even make me a better football player,” Murphy said. “I wasn’t half as disciplined or half as hard-working as I am now before my LDS mission.”

Murphy also has a wife and daughter to support and understands how hard-working parents have to be. He grew up in a house of six brothers and one daughter and his dad after all is the legendary Major League Baseball pitcher Dale Murphy.

“He’s a great role model for me,” the younger Murphy said. “It’s been great to see how he handled a professional career and I’ll be able to hopefully follow his footsteps in a different sport.”

Patrick Woo is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email pww5053@psu.edu.