Louis Murphy #18 WR
Height: 6-2 Weight: 200 Age: 26
Born: 5/11/1987 St. Petersburg , FL
Experience: 5th season
High School: Lakewood HS [St. Petersburg, FL]
Selected By: Oakland Raiders
Pick (Overall): 24 (124)
The two-sport standout might have been overshadowed by teammates Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow and seldom used in the team's spread offense, but most scouts feel this speedster has some of the best deep threat ability in the 2009 NFL Draft receiver crop. Known more for his track exploits as a sprinter coming out of the prep ranks, Murphy patiently waited two seasons before he was given an opportunity to show off his football skills, making 73 of his career 75 receptions during his junior and senior campaigns.
Flying under the radar is nothing new to Murphy. The Lakwood High School team captain and three-year starter competed as a winged-T option quarterback, twice earning team MVP honors on offense and once on special teams. He shifted to wide receiver during his senior campaign, as Rivals.com rated him the 37th-best receiver prospect in the country during his short tenure at that position.
In his only year at that spot, Murphy had 26 receptions for 520 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned one kick return and one punt return for touchdowns. His most memorable moment on the gridiron was taking the ball as quarterback and running up the middle of the field to score a 50-yard touchdown during his first year playing football.
Murphy received much more attention for his exploits on the prep track. He ran as the anchor on a 4x400 relay on the Lakewood squad, winning the state championship as a sophomore. He also played basketball for the Spartans at power forward.
Murphy enrolled at the University of Florida in 2005, turning down scholarship offers from Tennessee, Florida State and Louisville. A St. Petersburg native, he wanted to go to Miami but was never recruited by the Hurricanes and wound up at Florida.
As a freshman, he appeared in nine games, but was relegated to special teams duty in 2005. His only statistic registered was a solo tackle vs. Mississippi State. As a sophomore, he was deep down on the depth chart, seeing action in 12 games. He recorded three solo tackles and caught two passes for 42 yards, including a 35-yard score vs. Louisiana State.
As a junior, Murphy started 10 games as the team's flanker. He finished third on the squad with 37 receptions for 548 yards (14.8 avg) and five touchdowns. He added 12 yards on a reverse and 41 yards on three kickoff returns (13.7 avg), averaging 52.85 all-purpose yards per game. He was the only Gator to catch art least one pass in each of the team's 13 contests. He also competed on Florida's track team after the season, clocking a personal best 6.36 seconds in the 55-meter dash at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic.
Murphy was named team captain for the 2008 season. He changed from jersey No. 82 to No. 9 prior to the season opener, going on to rank second on the squad with 38 catches for 655 yards (17.2 avg) and seven touchdowns. He attempted a pass vs. Florida State and also saw time on the punt coverage team, as he averaged 47.29 all-purpose yards per game.