Maybe Jimmy Murphy was a little too excited after earning the Miami Hurricanes turnover chain for the first time in his career.
In his last game at Hard Rock Stadium, the former Miami walk-on recovered a dropped punt by Louisville receiver Tutu Atwell in the third quarter of Miami’s 52-27 win over the Cardinals. And Murphy immediately donned the infamous chain on the UM sideline.
Amid an impassioned celebration, featuring fist pumping and chest beating, the turnover chain came apart as it violently swung back and forth on Murphy’s neck.
“That would be a Jimmy Murphy thing to do,” coach Manny Diaz joked after the game.
The chain was fixed by the fourth quarter, however. It was needed again after an interception by sophomore defensive back Al Blades Jr, who then held up a white board with the words “it’s real” scribbled on it, and he said after the game that it was something he needed to clarify with everyone.
“The chain is in good condition,” Blades Jr. said. “It is not [broken]. It is real, and it is in well condition.”
Added Murphy after the game: “The chain is amazing. I didn’t even know I had it. I was just filled with energy, and when they brought it out, I’m like “Oh my God, that’s mine.’ So I just took it … I didn’t break it. I hope I didn’t.”
Murphy, a redshirt senior, is the only non-defensive Hurricane to wear the turnover chain this season, and he now knows the feeling of wearing the chain as well as the Hurricanes touchdown rings.
Murphy earned the touchdown rings early this season after recording the first rushing touchdown of his career in a blowout win over Bethune-Cookman, a moment that resulted in another attention-grabbing celebration by the Avon, Connecticut, native, who back-flipped on the field after the score.
Following Saturday’s win, Murphy was asked if he’d ever envisioned being able to wear the touchdown ring and turnover chain in the same season.
“No,” he laughed. “But I’m just fortunate enough that I have a coaching staff to put me that role that I could in that game.”
Murphy has been a standout on Miami’s special teams unit this season with eight tackles (four solo). He also has 17 rushing yards.
He’s one of 83 Division I student athletes across the country nominated for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded to the top college football player in the nation who began his career as a walk-on.
Murphy began his career at Miami as a member of the practice squad in 2017 and appeared in seven games last year. He finished 2018 with four special teams tackles (three solo) and was named a captain at the end of the season.
“I’m very jealous that I don’t get to play with you guys for next year,” Murphy said. “Very, very jealous. I’d do anything to go out there again.”