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Murphy plays recruiting game at own pace
SAN CLEMENTE – The flashy selling point beamed toward Kyle Murphy.
About 10 uniquely styled University of Oregon football jerseys bearing his No. 78 were shown to the senior on his official recruiting trip to the Eugene campus last month.
Like he has done to so many opposing defensive linemen, Murphy pushed the sales pitch aside.
The substance from his visit is what stuck with the touted 6-foot-7, 270-pound left tackle.
"(I want to make) more of a knowledgeable decision than an emotional decision," Murphy said of his philosophy on recruiting. "(The jerseys) were one of those extra things but that's not (a need). And they will tell you that, too, up there.
"They don't want people to go to their school for their jerseys."
Oregon isn't alone in the heavy pursuit of Murphy, who leads No. 2 San Clemente (8-0) into its South Coast League showdown with No. 3 Mission Viejo (5-2) on Friday.
The entire Pac-12 Conference has offered him a scholarship along with powers such as Alabama, Oklahoma, Auburn and Florida.
SuperPrep ranked Murphy in the preseason as the No. 1 offensive lineman in the nation and described him as "an NFL guy in-waiting."
"He's everything everybody thinks he is and more," San Clemente coach Jon Hamro said. "Physically, (he's) so dominating, so intelligent, finishes his blocks."
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Murphy seems to be navigating his high-profile recruiting process at his pace and with his priorities in mind.
He is scheduling his trips around San Clemente's football schedule.
Murphy visited Oregon on a week that the Tritons played on a Thursday. He will take a trip next weekend to Florida during San Clemente's bye week.
After the season, Murphy said he will "probably" take more trips. He would be allowed by NCAA rules to take as many as three more official recruiting trips.
"In the season, my team definitely gets a priority and school work as well," he said. "If I have a lot of homework and someone is calling me, I'll do my homework and try to catch up with them later."
Murphy said schools like recruits to commit as early as possible, but he wants to take his time so he makes the best decision.
"A lot of guys commit early and then they decommit – I don't want to be that kind of guy," he said. "I'm trying to take my time and just be aware and kind of see what everyone has to offer."
Murphy said he also is interested in taking official trips to USC, Stanford, Cal and "maybe" Oklahoma.
Murphy, who carries a 3.9 overall grade-point average, recently was accepted to Stanford.
Academic success runs in his family. His brother, Kevin, also was a standout offensive lineman at San Clemente and is now a 6-foot-7, 295-pound senior at Harvard.
So what is Murphy looking for in a college?
"Definitely a good football team," he said. "Solid academic program ...(and) the overall feel for the school. Can I see myself living there for four years?"
Murphy said he entered his junior season with little recruiting interest. But after recruiters saw his junior-season film, his recruitment took off.
"As a junior, he was the best I've been around here or at Saddleback College," said Hamro, a former assistant at Saddleback College. "He's having a great season (this fall)."
Murphy also played volleyball as freshman and sophomore at San Clemente, and it shows in his agility. He shows excellent footwork on pass blocking and running downfield.
"I think my athleticism helps me out a lot," Murphy said. "I just focus on getting better every day."
Murphy said he could make his college decision in late December or in early January while at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
This week, Murphy's main football focus is playing against Mission Viejo. The Tritons last defeated the Diablos in 1999.
But even as Murphy prepared this week, his recruiting possibilities continued to swirl.
One of the first songs to blare at a San Clemente's practice this week: the USC fight song.