By Trent Lawrence
Columbia City alumni Jared Murphy is preparing for his second season as a wide receiver for the University of Miami Ohio football team. Murphy had some encouraging moments as a freshman as well as some disappointments. Now Murphy is ready for a fresh start and primed to make an impact.
You are entering year two in your college football career, how do you feel about that?
It's crazy to think I'm already entering year two of college. My first year was filled with ups and downs and many experiences that have helped me mature and develop in the classroom, on the field, and as a person. Although I played in three games and recorded my first career start last season I received a redshirt for my first year because I only played in three games before suffering a season ending back injury. The injury was tough but I feel very blessed to be in this unique situation of heading into my second year with game experience, 6 career catches, and I am still considered a freshman with four years of eligibility left.
Coach Chuck Martin is believed to be an outstanding coach. Tell us about your new coach at Miami of Ohio.
When Coach Martin was hired in December everyone at Miami was excited for the fresh start. Coach Martin came in with a very impressive resume that the whole team was very excited about. Once we got to work with our new coach we all realized why he was so successful at his previous jobs. I think I speak for the whole team when I say this offseason was the toughest thing I have ever went through both physically and mentally. After Coach arrived you could instantly notice a difference in the team's attitude and confidence.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
What I am looking forward to most about this upcoming year is just the experience of the whole season. I am excited about the 2014 season and school year because I feel like I have got past the first year growing pains and I am now comfortable with a Division 1 student-athlete lifestyle. I know the routine and how everything works so I feel like I will be able to get the full effect of just enjoying the season with my teammates, family, and friends.
Last year you suffered a back injury that cut your season short. Tell us about the recovery process as well as the medical redshirt.
Yes, last year unfortunately I fractured three of my vertebra's in a helmet to helmet collision during a game. I played the whole second half of the game because I was unaware of the specifics of the injury or the severity. The following day I found out I had broken my back and I would be done for the season. I was pretty upset about the news because I was really starting to feel comfortable in the games. I had to wear a back brace all day for about a month and a half. Once the brace came off many of the muscles in my upper body were very weak and stiff. I then began to rehab and work to get a lot of those muscles in my upper body flexible and as mobile as they once were. I was blessed to be fully recovered in time to participate in winter conditioning and spring ball. Like I mentioned earlier I did receive a medical redshirt so although I played I will have four years of eligibility left.
What advice do you have for your younger former teammate back home and others looking to play at the next level?
The best advice I could give for younger, former teammates who are ambitious to play at the next level is love to compete. You need to find ways to get out in the Midwest and compete against elite high school kids from all over. This will allow you to have a better understanding of where you stand compared to elite talent out there and also will make you a better play and competitor on Friday nights. Also, I would tell younger kids to never get to high and never get to low because the process is a roller coaster. Through all the ups and downs you must maintain a consistent work ethic and attitude of you will out work everyone else. The last bit of advice I would give is to surround yourself with awesome people and enjoy every moment of the process with them, do not take any bit of it for granted.