Jimmy Murphy’s teammates have spoken all season of how his persistence and attitude inspires them.
After the Miami Hurricanes’ special teams standout scored the first rushing touchdown of his career, the rest of the team rushed the field to celebrate his accomplishment with him.
“That’s Jimmy, man. It’s Jimmy,” said UM running back DeeJay Dallas after the game.
Now Murphy, a redshirt senior, has one more chance to leave his mark on the program before his time in Miami ends.
Murphy, who’s a former walk-on, was one of 83 Division I student athletes across the country nominated for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy, according to a release by the University of Miami.
The Burlsworth Trophy is awarded to the “most outstanding” football player in the nation who began his career as a walk-on and has shown “outstanding performance on the field,” according to the release.
The trophy, first awarded in 2010, is named after former University of Arkansas All-American offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth, who went from a walk-on to a three-year starter.
The award ceremony will be held Dec. 9 in Springdale, Arkansas, to honor the three finalists and announce the 2019 winner.
Murphy appeared in seven games last season after serving as a member of the Hurricanes’ practice squad during the 2017 season. He finished 2018 with four special teams tackles (three solo) and was named a captain at the end of the season.
After the Avon, Connecticut, native scored his first career rushing touchdown in Miami’s 63-0 win over Bethune Cookman on Sept. 15, he spoke of what his Miami Hurricanes experience has meant to him.
Murphy thanked first-year head coach Manny Diaz for bringing him back for another season, adding that after former UM coach Mark Richt retired, he didn’t know if he’d retain his scholarship under the new coach.
“Whatever coach [Diaz] wants me to do, I’m gonna do it,” Murphy said then. “I love this program, whether it’s handing out water to players, or whether it’s scoring a touchdown. There’s nothing like being a Miami Hurricane … I wouldn’t be back here if it wasn’t for coach Diaz. He brought me back. I didn’t know if I was ever gonna come back. I thought I was done with the game.”
After Tuesday’s practice, Murphy said he’d simply expected to work hard and, hopefully, earn a spot on the team when he first arrived at Miami.
He has seven tackles this season with a chance to wrap up his Hurricanes career with an award no other UM player has received.
“I just want to leave attitude and toughness,” Murphy said. “And that’s what coach Diaz emphasizes everyday. If you bring your attitude and your toughness and your work ethic, you’re gonna be alright here. If not, this is not the place for you.”