Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Owls' Advice Helped Murphy; Quarterback Had Committed to Temple, but UF Was Big Opportunity

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Owls' Advice Helped Murphy; Quarterback Had Committed to Temple, but UF Was Big Opportunity

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Pincus

GAINESVILLE | One conversation with then-Temple coach Al Golden sent Tyler Murphy on a fateful visit to the university the Connecticut prep quarterback would soon call home.

After reportedly committing to Temple on New Year's Eve in 2009, Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer and assistant Steve Addazio decided in the days following to offer the dual-threat quarterback a visit. Golden urged Murphy to take it, and now as a redshirt junior at Florida, Murphy is adjusting to life as a starting quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.

In the 48 hours since carrying No. 20 Florida to its ninth straight win against Tennessee, Murphy was inundated with calls from family members, friends and well-wishers. Even a fake Twitter account was created impersonating the new Florida quarterback.

"They've been a little hectic I guess you could say," Murphy said of the hours since his collegiate debut.

Murphy ran for one TD and passed for one in the Swamp and shook off two fumbles. With Jeff Driskel suffering a season-ending broken leg in the first quarter, Murphy will start his first conference road game this week against Kentucky on Saturday.

Florida holds a 26-game winning streak in the series.

Senior defensive back Jaylen Watkins roomed with Murphy on-campus last year. He doesn't expect anything less than a repeat performance from the quarterback. Murphy has worked toward this moment his entire career.

Off time is spent watching film and any football game, particularly his favorite player Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints.

"I think he'll embrace it. This is the opportunity he's been looking for for four years," Watkins said. "I don't know anyone who wouldn't embrace this moment, playing at Kentucky and trying to get another win. He's starting his journey now."

For most Florida players, the journey starts with a highly publicized recruiting process where reporters followed their every move. There was none of that for Murphy. …

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