Maalik Murphy’s unconventional rise to four-star QB marks a shift in recruiting

Christina Huang

Maalik Murphy’s rise to a top-10 quarterback ranking in the class of 2022 has been anything but ordinary.

Murphy, currently a junior at Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, received offers from football powerhouses such as Auburn, Michigan, LSU and USC before committing to Texas on Feb. 13. But his high school statistics do not necessarily reflect those of a highly sought after recruit.

When he officially announced his commitment to Texas on Feb. 13, Murphy spoke to 247Sports’ Greg Biggins about the next step in his journey.

“Texas was the only school on my list that I couldn’t find a single negative about,” Murphy said. “Football is the biggest thing going in Texas. It’s more than just a sport, it’s a staple of life and everyone is so passionate about it there.”

When Murphy committed to the Longhorns, he had only thrown 61 passes as a high school quarterback. He completed just under 46% of those passes for a total of 314 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions, according to MaxPreps.

Murphy’s seemingly lackluster high school numbers can be attributed to a combination of unique circumstances. First off, Murphy had yet to officially start at quarterback for Junipero Serra, receiving limited reps in backup duty. Secondly, Murphy’s junior season was postponed in the Fall 2020 semester due to California’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Murphy wrapped up his delayed junior season last Friday, closing the abbreviated six-game campaign with a 4–2 record. He completed 90-of-163 passes for nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

While Murphy drastically improved in his junior season, there is nothing about the statistics, without context, that jumps off the screen or reflects a recruit heavily scouted and offered by the most prestigious football programs in the nation.

The buzz surrounding Murphy is attributed to his stellar performances at quarterback camps across the country in the offseasons, most notably Steve Clarkson’s “The QB Retreat.”

Clarkson last held “The QB Retreat” back in 2019, when Murphy was in attendance as a high school participant along with elite college quarterbacks such as Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa and Texas’ own Sam Ehlinger. Murphy launched the ball 74 yards through the air that day in one of the camp’s organized competitions.

Despite not having much varsity in-game experience, he turned heads with his elite measurables and exciting arm talent.

Murphy’s exceptional performances at quarterback camps propelled him to the top of his recruiting class, emphasizing the importance that third-party camps have in today’s recruiting landscape.

Murphy has one more year of high school ball before he joins head coach Steve Sarkisian in Austin, whose ability to develop quarterbacks Murphy raved about.

“I think he’s the perfect coach to prepare me for the next level,” Murphy said. “He’s a Cali guy and someone I’m really comfortable with. I look at what he’s done in the past and how he develops quarterbacks and I think he can help me reach my goals, which are to play in the NFL. I love his offense and think I fit in really well with what he wants to do scheme wise.”