Texas stars Murphy, Brooks plan to get in draft
Pete Thamel, ESPNJan 4, 2024, 04:48 PM ET
Two linchpins of Texas’ development 2023 season are leaving school early for the NFL draft.Defensive lineman Byron Murphy II and star tailback Jonathon Brooks informed ESPN in phone interviews Thursday that they mean to state for the draft.Murphy is the No. 4 general defensive tackle on
ESPN draft insider Mel Kiper Jr.’s most current positional rankings, and Brooks is the No. 1 tailback, even after he tore his ACL on Nov. 11. Brooks said he’s a month out of surgery from a clean tear, and the expectation is he’ll be healthy for NFL training camp.Murphy said he ‘d been imagining this day because he was 5 years of ages, but added that the decision wasn’t difficult.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated “It wasn’t really a tough choice, “he told ESPN.”I knew what I needed to do on the field, and I did it.”Brooks called it a” difficult decision “and said he spent a lot of time speaking with friends, household and his
representative. “Simply the fear of not knowing if it would work out, “he stated.”I made the very best decision for myself going forward
.”Brooks began the season as the back-up but won the starting task and had a development season with 1,139 backyards and 10 goals. He
balanced 6.1 backyards per carry.He escalated up draft boards with a spree of big games that consisted of 218 yards versus Kansas and 112 versus Kansas State.
That momentum came to a stop on Nov. 11 with his ACL tear.Brooks told ESPN he is elated that his schedule projects him to be prepared for next season. He stated he’s strolling without a brace or crutches.
“Just knowing I can be back in time to showcase to a team what I can do and give the table is actually exciting, “he said.Texas had two
tailbacks chosen in the top 115 choices last year: Bijan Robinson, who went 8th general to the Atlanta Falcons, and Roschon
Johnson, who went 115th to the Chicago Bears. Brooks stated he leaned on both of them this year and through his choice to declare for the draft.”They made sure I was good and they taught me a lot on and off the field as far as that goes,”he stated.”How to walk around the training space and how to deal with individuals with respect. I discovered my practice routines from them, which went a long way to where I’m at this season.” Murphy’s advancement 2023 season consisted of first-team all Big 12 honors. He ended up with 8.5 deals with for loss and five sacks. Going Into the College Football Playoff, Murphy’s 12.9 %quarterback pressure
rate ranked as the highest rate for a defensive deal with in the FBS.At 6-foot-1, 297 pounds, Murphy is athletic enough that he logged both a goal rushing and getting this season after ending up being a staple in goal-line packages.”I’m a player that plays hard,”Murphy said.
“I feel like I’m a game-changer. When there’s a play that’s required to be made, I’m the kind of guy to make that play. I’m a player you can depend on.
“I seem like I can play all 3 downs and I seem like I can stop the run and also rush the passer.”Murphy stated the draft will be a big moment for his family and thanked his parents, Seneca Murphy and Byron Murphy Sr.
, and whole family for supporting him. “Guy, I had an amazing 3 years at Texas,”
he stated. “Just playing on this stage. Unbelievable environment, the fans and the culture. It’s really a true blessing to be a part of that
and making history here the last three years. I’ll always remember the UT. I’ll forever be a Longhorn and permanently grateful to be one. “