All-American cornerback picks Washington over ASU

Saguaro’s Byron Murphy will play for Chris Petersen’s Huskies


Courtesy of Brian Indrelunas

Arizona State hosts Washington during a 2007 game.

Kara Brown, Freelance Reporter,

Saguaro’s Byron Murphy announced at an on-campus press conference that he would play college football at the University of Washington after graduation.

For many in attendance it seemed obvious that he would choose Arizona State. But for Murphy, his career was more than keeping friendships and becoming the next hometown hero, where he would have followed in former Sabercat DJ Foster’s footsteps.

Murphy’s decision all came down to where he felt most comfortable. He wanted to play for a coach with whom he had a strong bond with.

The U.S. Army All-America cornerback explained why he chose to turn down ASU’s offer.

“They both were great programs and both schools were a good opportunity for me, but I just felt more comfortable with my decision at U-Dub,” Murphy said.

With the relationships he had built throughout his high school career at both Saguaro and Marcos De Niza, Murphy wanted to make a similar bond with his future college and its coaches.

Saguaro coach Jason Mohns predicted that the coaching staff would play a vital role in his final decision.

“Byron has always been big about comfortableness when it comes to coaching,” Mohns said. “When he visited Washington he almost felt that it was home. You want to be comfortable with the coaches and the atmosphere of everything. Byron felt that the strongest at Washington.”

While visiting UW, Byron bonded instantly with the coaches and players he met. He forged connections that stood out among the other three colleges he visited.

“I have a great connection with the coaches out there,” Murphy said. “I’ve only been there three times and have already gotten the opportunity to practice some drills with the coaches.”

It was known to many that Byron’s closest friends N’keal Harry and Chase Lucas both committed to ASU with hopes that Murphy would join them, but those hopes soured after his big announcement.

Special teams coach Nagui Sabbagh expressed his thoughts and stands behind Murphy’s decision.

“I think he wanted to go to ASU because all of his friends were going there, but as an athlete you have many tough choices to make,” Sabbagh said. “Going out of state and experiencing college life out of your comfort zone is a great option to grow up and mature as an adult.”

Sabbagh explained that Washington was his best choice due to the fact that he is a big defensive prospect and the Huskies have an extremely fast and athletic defense, perfect for a player like Murphy.

With congratulations comes criticism as well. However, Murphy’s classmates, such as senior Jordan Voth, seemed very happy regarding his success.

“Everyone in the room was so happy for him, so much clapping and cheering,” Voth said. “Obviously a majority of the people in the room wanted him to go to ASU, since it’s in state. In the end it was what Byron wanted and where he saw himself playing for the next four years.”

Voth, who was in attendance last Thursday, further reflected on his decision.

“I think Washington is a very awesome choice,” she said. “He will be able to be out of Arizona and go to a new environment and do what he loves to do.”

As for Murphy, he is eager to build his career.

“I plan to go out there, work hard for the starting position and just keep working towards my ultimate goal, to play in the NFL,” he said.