The recipe for Myles Murphy? Just add water


by - Senior Writer -
Myles Murphy prepares to make a play against The Citadel.
Myles Murphy prepares to make a play against The Citadel.

Some of the easiest recipes to follow are those that tell you to just add water. When freshman defensive end Myles Murphy walked onto the Clemson campus in January, head coach Dabo Swinney likened him to the same type of almost-finished product.

Murphy has played 44 snaps over the season’s first two games, but is tied with Regan Upshaw for the team lead in tackles (10) and leads the team with five tackles for loss (for 19 yards) and sacks (two for eight yards).

When Murphy’s name is mentioned to Brent Venables, Venables breaks into a huge grin.

“Myles, coach (Dabo) Swinney likes to say, is one of those guys that you just add water to, with the length, the size, the speed,” Venables said. “It’s not very often that it happens. But you know it when you see it. He’s still a pretty hot stock. I’d buy all day, even at a higher price with him, because I think there’s tremendous, tremendous growth that’s still to come with Myles.

"You don't see a guy like Myles Murphy very much, that goes without saying. You take a guy like Dexter Lawrence who was game-ready as we've had and those guys would fit right in there."

In Week 1 against Wake Forest, Murphy produced a team-high seven tackles (three for loss) with two sacks, as a backup at that.

"I was very nervous but after the first contact, I got the anxiousness and jitters out,” Murphy said. “After that telling myself it's the game I've been playing for years, it started to feel like high school ball and I was doing what I do on the field."

Learning the playbook has been Murphy’s biggest challenge.

"I feel like I'm coming along pretty well with the playbook,” he said. “It honestly feels like he just keeps adding onto the plays, but that's the DC that he is and what makes our defense great. I don't know everything but what I do know, it's paying off.

“The competition is way different now than it was in high school, so I have to really think about things, whether it's my keys, hand placement, or staying low or things like that. There are little things that turn into big outcomes for the play. You can be out of the gap not even a yard and a running back like Travis Etienne can bush a 60-yard run."

Murphy said he patterns his game after Myles Garrett and Aaron Donald.

“I’ve been watching (Myles Garrett) ever since his pretty much freshman year of college at Texas A&M. And then (Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle) Aaron Donald, ever since he’s blown up, because Aaron Donald’s work ethic is out of this world,” Murphy said. “With Myles Garrett’s frame, we have similar frames, similar playing styles. I’ve just kind of looked up to both of them and I watch their games all the time.”

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