MSU plans to use Murphy's talents this season

Marcus Murphy (2) runs with the football during his high school days at West Point.

Staff Writer

Marcus Murphy will more than likely figure into the plans of the Mississippi State Bulldogs as a freshman.

He will almost certainly be in the rotation at safety for the Bulldogs, but the former West Point High School player could also be a valuable weapon on kick returns.

Also don’t be surprised if there are eventually some offensive packages that will call upon Murphy’s services.

MSU special teams coordinator Joey Jones said Murphy is working in all areas in the preseason.

“He’s a very good athlete,” Jones said. “He’s a guy really trying to learn what we are trying to teach him. I expect him to be on the field this year.”

The Bulldogs are not going to try to get ahead of themselves and put too much on the plate of a freshman, but they also want to put Murphy’s talent to good use.

Murphy has caught the eye of MSU defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop in preseason camp.

As much as Murphy has impressed over the last three weeks, Shoop said he’s still a work in progress.

“He’s taken the next step,” Shoop said. “Sometimes you’ve got to take one step back to take two steps forward. His focus is to take every step and do everything right. The first seven or eight days (of preseason camp) he’s been good. He’s a guy where the arena will never be too big for him.”

The stage wasn’t never too big for Murphy during his high school career as he was instrumental in helping the Green Wave claim back-to-back state championships

During his career, Murphy had 7,106 yards of total offense and 82 total touchdowns. He had 1,819 yards and 21 scores on 201 carries as the wildcat quarterback for West Point in 2017  with 226 of those yards on the ground and four touchdowns coming in the state title game.

Shoop anticipates Murphy becoming more involved in the plans as his career continues to take shape for the Bulldogs.

“His future is bright,” Shoop said. “I know at some point during the course of this year, he’s going to make contributions on special teams as a return guy and covering kicks and punts.”