This is part of a SportsDayHS Q&A series with the top Class of 2021 football recruits in the Dallas area, looking at how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their lives.
Today, we chat with DeSoto junior defensive lineman Byron Murphy II.
DeSoto DL Byron Murphy II
About Murphy: Murphy (6-1, 276) is rated the third-best defensive lineman and the 18th-best overall recruit in the Dallas area in the Class of 2021 by The Dallas Morning News. The three-star recruit lists 17 offers on his recruiting page, including from Georgia, Minnesota, Baylor, Utah, Memphis, Colorado, Houston, Texas Tech, TCU and SMU.
Murphy was a first-team all-state selection and second-team all-area choice last season after recording 98 tackles and 12 tackles for loss for a 9-3 DeSoto team that reached the second round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
Your most recent offers are from Baylor, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis and Mississippi State, with those coming in since March 22. Where are you at in the recruiting process right now?
I haven’t thought about committing. I haven’t named a top 10.
How difficult is the recruiting process with the NCAA not allowing in-person recruiting because of the coronavirus pandemic? Did you have to cancel any visits?
I had to cancel one visit, LSU. It is hard. [Colleges] say they really want me to come up to the campus and see what they’ve got, but I can’t. They’ll probably have to start doing virtual visits.
How have you been communicating with college coaches?
Text messages and FaceTime.
The last visit you took was an unofficial to Texas Tech on March 7. What impressed you about Tech?
I enjoyed the coaches, the practice. I loved the fans, how they were acting at the basketball game [against Kansas]. The atmosphere was crazy. I couldn’t believe it. Everybody was standing up, hyped. I would love to see that every Saturday [for football games].
What is the hardest part about trying to stay in shape while you are quarantined and stuck at home?
There aren’t any gyms open. That’s the hardest part. I just do push-ups and sit-ups in the house … something that can keep my heart rate up, like jumping jacks, jump rope.
Do you have any weights at your house?
What is the most creative workout you’ve done?
Squats with a broom. We hold it for so many seconds and come back up. Twenty reps.
What do you miss most?
I miss being around my coaches and my teammates. They keep me going, keep me motivated. I miss being in the weight room.
What do you do at home when you aren’t working out?
I’ve been playing video games and doing my schoolwork.
What are your favorite video games?
What team do you use in Madden, and why?
The Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson and their D line.
Is it tough having to do all of your schoolwork remotely?
The hardest part is probably trying to communicate with the teachers, trying to get in touch with them. We use Zoom. We’ll get on there at certain times.
How often do you get your assignments?
A week at a time.
What’s your favorite subject?
Do you worry that next football season — your senior year — could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
I’m not worried. I’m just doing workouts and trying to continue to get bigger, stronger and faster.
You started competing in track this year and threw the shot put. After the NCAA granted college athletes in spring sports an extra year of eligibility because spring sports were canceled, do you think the UIL should consider doing that for high school students?
I think they should. Some kids were trying to show the college coaches what they had this spring, and they can’t do that. That hurt.
Our full Q&A series
— Duncanville OT Savion Byrd
— Denton Ryan ATH Billy Bowman Jr.
— Flower Mound Marcus QB Garrett Nussmeier
— FW All Saints OL James Brockermeyer
— DeSoto DL Byron Murphy II
— John Paul II WR Jerand Bradley
Find more high school sports stories from The Dallas Morning News here.
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