Murphy changes course, decides to transfer
Published: Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 4:26 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 4:26 p.m.
Despite telling his head coach all week that the rumors of his departure were false, Tyler Murphy on Sunday left the Gator program.
Murphy, who graduated from Florida on Saturday with a degree in telecommunication, was rumored to be leaving all week, but Will Muschamp said he had several conversations with the quarterback and Murphy’s father during the week and was told everything was fine.
When Murphy did not show up for Saturday’s football banquet at the Grand Ballroom in the Reitz Union, Muschamp figured something must be up.
He called Murphy, who didn’t answer but eventually responded with a long text message saying he felt he needed to go somewhere where he’d get a chance to start, Muschamp said.
“I told him it would be an open competition, just like I told him Jeff Driskel would be our starter last year,” Muschamp said.
Because Murphy has graduated, he won’t have to sit out a year at another FBS school. However, Florida can block his release to another school.
Murphy had not thrown a college pass when Driskel was injured in Florida’s third game of the season against Tennessee. Murphy led Florida to a win in that game and in the next two against Kentucky and Arkansas.
But he suffered a right shoulder injury at LSU and wasn’t the same player the rest of the season as the defenses got better. In games against LSU, Missouri, Georgia and Vanderbilt, Murphy threw for one touchdown and four interceptions, three of them in the season-crippling loss to the Commodores.
He finished the season with 1,216 yards passing with six touchdowns and five interceptions.
Murphy is the seventh offensive player to transfer since the end of the season, although none of the seven were projected as starters in 2014.
Murphy’s decision leaves Florida thin at quarterback with redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg and incoming freshman Will Grier expected to be the backups to Driskel. Florida, now with 23 scholarships available for the 2014 class, is expected to sign one other quarterback.
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