Jimmy Murphy couldn’t contain his excitement after his touchdown.
It was late in the fourth quarter of the Miami Hurricanes’ 63-0 blowout win against Bethune-Cookman on Saturday and Murphy, a former walk-on, took a handoff from N’Kosi Perry. He plunged into the end zone from the 4-yard line. It was the first touchdown run of his career.
The Hurricane’s sideline erupted. Running back DeeJay Dallas ran over immediately. Fullback Michael Parrott smacked his helmet, sending him tumbling into a somersault right after. Murphy threw up the “U” while his teammates tugged on his jersey and jumped up and down on the sideline.
No one was worried about the 15-yard excessive celebration penalty Murphy was assessed seconds later, or any future punishments it’d lead to.
“I don’t care about the penalty,” Dallas said. “I’ll run my gasser. I don’t care.”
Earlier this week, Dallas said he’d be the first one to meet Murphy on the field if he scored a touchdown.
“And I was the first one to meet Jimmy,” he said. “That’s Jimmy, man. It’s Jimmy.”
“I’m pretty sure that’s close enough to when your child is born,” Murphy said with a laugh. “That was just an unbelievable feeling, and I’m for certain I’ll have that for life.”
The Avon, Connecticut, native wasn’t sure he’d be here before the start of the season.
He spoke after the game of his plan of going to medical school, and after the departure of former coach Mark Richt last year, Murphy didn’t know if coach Manny Diaz would give him a scholarship for the upcoming season.
Murphy reached out to Diaz in the offseason to make sure the first-year coach knew how much he wanted to be a Miami Hurricane. Later the same day, Murphy received a phone call.
“[Diaz] said, ‘You’re a Miami Hurricane again,’” Murphy said. “I owe him everything. That’s it.”
Wearing a green Miami Hurricanes T-Shirt and black Hurricanes sweatpants, Murphy remembered the first time he’d learned he made the team.
He’d tried out more two years ago with about two others, and was told he’d later receive an email informing him if he’d made the team.
Murphy said he was in an Uber on his way to the beach after the tryout when he saw the message congratulating him on being a Miami Hurricane.
“I told the Uber driver pull over on the side of the highway,” Murphy said. “He let me out on the side of the highway. I lost my mind, but that was the best day of my life.”
Murphy never made it to the beach.
He served as a member of the practice squad his redshirt sophomore year, and his career debut was in the home opener last season against Savannah State. He recorded four tackles — three solo — as a junior and was named a special teams caption at the end of the season.
Murphy recorded two tackles in Miami’s season-opening loss to Florida last month, and he recorded 17 yards and the touchdown in Saturday’s game.
Diaz said that it wouldn’t be his last.
“There’s not a guy on our team that doesn’t love Jimmy Murphy. ... The guy’s unbelievable,” Diaz said. “We knew even through training camp that he was gonna score a touchdown in a game.
“That will not be the last touchdown he scores this year. He’s a guy that everybody on the team has the utmost respect for. And to see him get in the end zone, even the way that he scored, was no surprise to anybody.”