Replacing Green-Beckham: Murphy has playmaking ability for Tigers
It’s always an annual challenge trying to replace an impact player, but in the SEC, coaches are paid to recruit and develop the next standout athlete in fear of the impending hot seat should seasons turn sour.
Over a two-week period, we’ll take a look at a key player loss for each program in the conference and break down that position’s potential replacements. Rest assured, a few of these guys will be household names by season’s end.
- SOUTH CAROLINA
- OLE MISS
- TEXAS A&M
- TODAY: Missouri
- Saturday: Mississippi St.
- Sunday: Tennessee
- Monday: LSU
Between Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt and Darius White, someone has to step up as Dorial Green-Beckham’s replacement in Mizzou’s No. 1 receiving spot, right?
The Tigers may call on a career running back, Marcus Murphy, to fill DGB’s shoes and direct a receiving corps that must develop quickly for the defending Eastern Division champions.
Murphy’s only caught 22 passes in three seasons but delivers game-changing ability, talent coaches feel could be better utilized in the slot rather than behind Maty Mauk in a crowded backfield. Murphy split carries with Russell Hansbrough last season as the second-teamer while Henry Josey compiled a 1,166-yard, 16-touchdown campaign.
When he had the football in his hands as a junior, Murphy was one of the Tigers’ most explosive players with nine touchdowns on 103 total offensive touches.
Murphy’s worked at wide receiver most of fall practice and coach Gary Pinkel said Monday he plans to keep him there for the time being. The player with 1,033 career rushing yards at 6.5 yards per attempt is comfortable in his new role.
“I’m not a big guy — 195 (pounds), 5 (feet) 9 — but I played receiver in high school and I really like to utilize my hands,” Murphy said this week according to the Kansas City Star. “That’s one of my best abilities, I think, catching the ball.”