With no current player on the Oregon roster wearing #89, we decided to go with a blast from the past with Will Murphy. Murphy is the last player to don the #89 jersey for the Ducks not currently on the roster.
Murphy’s tale is quite the extraordinary one.
Before joining the Ducks, Murphy was a three sport varsity letterer for the West Albany Bulldogs in football, basketball and baseball. While he was good at all three, his skill in football far outweighed the other two. He received first-team all-conference and first-team all-state recognition his senior season as a wide receiver and cornerback and helped lead the Bulldogs to the 5A State championship. Murphy was offered a chance to walk-on to the team in 2008.
Murphy spent his first season as a member of the scout/practice squad, redshirting in 2008.
In 2009, Murphy recorded two receptions for 42 yards in the ‘09 Spring Game with catches of 33 and nine yards apiece and was a part of the winning Green team.
In 2010, Murphy saw action in seven of the Ducks’ 13 games. He was also promoted to being a regular member of the travel squad. He hauled in two passes for 22 yards with a long of 13 and another of nine yards, both in his first career appearance – a 72-0 win over New Mexico. He averaged 11.0 YPC and 3.1 YPG. Off the field, Murphy had impressive winter conditioning and posted marks of 4.82 in the 40-yard dash (third best of any receiver) and a 31-inch vertical leap.
In 2011, Murphy appeared in ten games for the Ducks and increased his productivity to three catches for 37 yards, an average of 12.3 YPC. He recorded a 5-yard catch in the Ducks’ season opening loss to LSU, a career-long 24-yard reception to Nevada and then an eight yard catch against Colorado. He also posted the fastest 20-yard time during winter conditioning at 2.81 seconds.
In 2012, Murphy became the Ducks’ leading reserve wide receiver. He finished the season with an incredible 19 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown. He also saw action in all 13 of the Ducks’ games. Murphy had highlight performances in a Civil War victory over Oregon State when he recorded five receptions for 35 yards. He also caught his first collegiate touchdown on the road at Cal.
After graduating with a degree in business administration, Murphy expected to start his post-football career. However, that all changed when Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly invited him to come back east to tryout for the team. Murphy excelled in camp and made the Eagles’ roster, announcing it to his followers on Twitter:
What an incredible weekend! So blessed and fortunate to have made the roster for the Philadelphia eagles!— Will Murphy (@WillMurphy89) May 12, 2013
Murphy has a solid work ethic, a passion for football and a coach who knows him and believes in him. The sky is the limit for what he can accomplish at the next level.