Murphy's Laud: Rebel Rookie Earns National Nod
Jan. 8, 2008
LAS VEGAS - UNLV rookie offensive lineman Matt Murphy earned a major honor on Tuesday as the Football Writers Association of America and AON Insurance announced their seventh annual Freshman All-America Team.
Murphy, a 6-3, 265-pound blocker out of El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif., was one of only 12 true freshmen included on the prestigious squad. He played in all 12 games for the Rebels in 2007 and started at left tackle the last nine.
Averaging 76 plays and three knockdowns per game after taking over the key spot, Murphy helped leading rusher Frank Summers net 928 yards on the ground, which was the eighth-best single-season total in UNLV history. Murphy allowed only three sacks in 12 games and graded out at nearly 80 percent for the year.
"Matt Murphy did a great job learning the offense and getting better every week," said Gary Bernardi, UNLV's offensive tackles/tight ends coach. "On any level of football, it's unusual to have a true freshman take over as a starter on the offensive line but for it to be at the left tackle spot is very rare. Matt excelled because he is a great kid with a lot of football smarts and is very coachable."
Chosen from among 104 players nominated, the team was selected by a group of writers led by FWAA vice president Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of nearly 1,000 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists.
2007 AON INSURANCE FWAA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA TEAM Pos. Player, School HGT WGT Hometown QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 6-4 214 Oklahoma City, Okla. RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia 5-11 207 Belford, N.J. RB LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh 5-11 200 Harrisburg, Pa. RB Harvey Unga, BYU 6-0 221 Provo, Utah WR Michael Crabtree, TX Tech 6-3 208 Dallas, Texas WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri 6-1 185 Kirkwood, Mo. TE James Casey, Rice 6-4 245 Azle, Texas OL Anthony Castonzo, BC 6-7 262 Hawthorn Woods, Ill. OL Anthony Davis, Rutgers 6-6 350 Piscataway, N.J. OL Rodney Hudson, Florida St. 6-2 285 Mobile, Ala. OL Matt Murphy, UNLV 6-3 265 Lake Forest, Calif. C Ryan McMahon, Florida St. 6-3 275 Rome, Ga. DL Everson Griffen, USC 6-3 265 Avondale, Ariz. DL Greg Romeus, Pittsburgh 6-5 250 Coral Springs, Fla. DL Ian Williams, Notre Dame 6-2 300 Altamonte Springs, Fla. DL Colby Whitlock, Texas Tech 6-2 281 Noble, Okla. LB Greg Jones, Michigan State 6-1 220 Cincinnati, Ohio LB Scott Lutrus, Connecticut 6-3 220 Brookfield, Conn. LB Rolando McClain, Alabama 6-4 255 Decatur, Ala. DB Eric Berry, Tennessee 5-11 195 Fairburn, Ga. DB Omar Bolden, Arizona State 5-11 200 Ontario, Calif. DB Alex Kube, Northern Ill. 6-1 203 Cary, Ill. DB Tavious Polo, FL Atlantic 5-10 160 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. DB Deunta Williams, UNC 6-2 195 Jacksonville, N.C. P Keenyn Crier, Arizona 6-1 200 Spring, Texas K Thomas Weber, Arizona St. 6-1 202 Downey, Calif. KR Max Suter, Syracuse 5-11 190 Ruffs Dale, Pa. ATH Antonio Brown, C. Michigan 5-11 175 Miami, Fla.