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DE Murphy, No. 2 overall recruit, picks Clemson

Clemson added its third five-star commitment to its No. 1-ranked recruiting class on Friday when defensive end Myles Murphy announced his commitment to the Tigers.

Murphy, the No. 2-ranked recruit overall in the 2020 class, chose Clemson over Auburn. He joins five-stars Bryan Bresee, the No. 1 defensive tackle in the class, and offensive lineman Mitchell Mayes as the top recruits who have committed to the Tigers.

“One thing I always looked for when we went to the school, I looked for consistency,” Murphy’s father, Willard, said. “Am I getting the same message, the same feeling, the same vibe every time I meet with these coaches? If you have consistency, that says a lot, because you have to trust the coaches you’re turning your son over to, and you want to feel comfortable with the people that will be extended parents, in a sense, for your son.”

Murphy, a 6-foot-5, 271-pound recruit from Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, gives Clemson five ESPN 300 defensive linemen, including the Nos. 1 and 12 defensive ends and the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 defensive tackles.

The recruiting process was fairly straightforward for Murphy, who sought help from his father and his mother, Breyone, along the way. He had a good idea of what he was looking for in a school very early on in the process, as schools started recruiting him after his freshman year.

Murphy and his parents attended camps at Auburn, Clemson and Georgia the summer after his freshman year, earning offers from Auburn and Georgia, but they were forced to wait with Clemson.

“Clemson didn’t make him an offer at the camp, but all the coaches were following him from station to station,” Breyone said. “We were wondering why they were following him like that, and they pulled him away from his age group and had him working with the high school seniors. We knew they had some interest in him, although they weren’t ready to extend an offer to him.”

As Murphy got further and further along in the process, and as more schools entered the picture, the family eventually narrowed his list and his focus. Going into his junior year, the family requested their visits no longer include photo shoots and trying on jerseys in the locker room, but rather time with deans and administrators in the engineering departments, because that is the field Myles plans to pursue in college.

“That’s when he was able to weed out the schools,” Breyone said. “Just sitting, talking and finding out the relationship they had with the engineering departments. At a certain point, you know at each school he would be successful anywhere he lands when it comes down to the football, but what is it you’re going to do for my son to make sure he’s successful after football?”

Murphy and his family felt that Auburn and Clemson offered him similar opportunities with engineering but different opportunities on the football field.

With Clemson losing most of its starting defensive line to the NFL draft, the team is reloading, but it has recruited the group well enough that Murphy isn’t needed to start right away. The family heard a different pitch from Auburn, which said the five-star was needed to help immediately.

It came down to being comfortable with competing for a spot and potentially waiting his turn at Clemson.

“If there’s an opportunity for the next level, which one will have you more prepared for that next level?” Willard said. “If you play your freshman year or sophomore year, going to these type of schools, and get in the rotation your second year is a good deal. If you can get in the rotation your freshman year, that’s even better, but which one will be able to develop you over three or four years?”

The family felt Clemson gave Murphy the best shot at success on the field and academically. His commitment helps keep the Tigers in the No. 1 spot for the current class rankings.

Clemson now has 14 ESPN 300 commitments, which is the most of any program and one more than Alabama. It also gives Clemson the most five-star commitments of any program. Of the seven prospects ranked as five-stars that have committed to a school, three are pledged to Clemson, with Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Stanford all holding one each.

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