• John Macon Gillespie

Murphy Striving To Be Better

In recent weeks Hattiesburg High junior receiver Jordan Murphy grabbed offers from each of the Magnolia state’s ‘big three’ football programs.

“It was a big deal,” Murphy said about getting those offers. “I didn’t think I was going to get this far, but I did. My hard work has paid off and this will make me work even harder.”

Those familiar with Mississippi high school football were not surprised as it was only confirmation of the ability Murphy flashed on the field in 2015. He caught 50 passes for 844 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also added over 400 yards from punt and kick off returns.

“The game I had against Laurel,” He said when asked what stuck out about his season.

And why not? He dominated the Tornadoes that night, catching nine passes for 192 yards(21.3 yards per catch) and four touchdowns.

With more than a year left before he can accept one those scholarships he has earned, he is looking to improve. He’s focused on two areas, areas that would allow him to have more games like he had that night between the bricks.

“Being more physical as a receiver and speed,” Murphy told SES Mississippi.

With the March 5th Fortius Project stop at Petal High school fast approaching, Murphy has plans of making the short drive over to attend. With the top talent expected, he should be challenged by the defensive backs in attendance. It is an opportunity for him to not only improve, but also get a gauge on improvements already made since last season and to spend time around other top Mississippi athletes.

“Meeting new people, going against competitors, I like it all,” Murphy said. “When it’s my turn, every time I tell myself there’s no competition coming my way.”

When watching Murphy, it’s easy to spot what Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Ole Miss also see. He’s not only very technically sound, but also possesses qualities that can make him a dynamic receiver beyond high school. He intends to show others those attributes at Fortius.

“They will see how good my feet are. My release off the ball, how to get off the jam and how good I am at running routes. The most important is how I attack the ball and I have strong hands,” Murphy told SES Mississippi.

After defeating Laurel in the second game of the season, thanks to Murphy’s career night, the Tornadoes ended the Tigers’ season in the first round of the 5A playoffs. The Tigers finished 8-5 and Murphy sees positive signs looking towards the fall of 2016.

“We have the same offense, we are just making it better. We lost a lot on defense, though,” Murphy said.

In addition to all his offensive contributions, Murphy is also a safety for Hattiesburg. His improvement at that spot, though he may not play their in college, could impact his team most.

We already know he can be a go-to receiver, after all.

**Photo courtesy of Pine Belt Sports.

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