The month of July has been good to the University of Alabama.
After adding defensive back Antonio Kite, defensive end Jeremiah Alexander and offensive lineman Tyler Booker within the last three weeks, the Crimson Tide's 2022 haul got even better on Sunday afternoon when linebacker Shawn Murphy announced his commitment to coach Nick Saban and company.
The 6-foot-2. 215-pound defender picked Alabama over the likes of Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Penn State. The Manassas, Virginia product visited all of his final five schools unofficially during the month of June.
He also took trips to Georgia and Florida State as well.
Alabama assistants Pete Golding and Sal Sunseri have led the charge in Murphy's recruitment since he was offered a scholarship back in the spring of 2019. He is the first player from the state of Virginia to land with the Crimson Tide out of high school since Da’Shawn Hand in the recruiting class of 2014
Overall, Murphy is the 12th pledge in the Crimson Tide's 2022 class, which currently ranks 16th in the nation per Sports Illustrated All-American but will be updated at the beginning of August.
What is Alabama getting in Murphy? SIAA football recruiting director and analyst John Garcia Jr. breaks down the latest member of the Crimson Tide:
“Alabama is at it again, y'all. There is seemingly a theme with part of the commitment list in the 2022 cycle and it should make longstanding fans happy. Not only is Nick Saban and company bringing in elite prospects from all over the country, a majority of the group has an old school feel, right in line with new verbal commitment Shawn Murphy. The striking linebacker out of Manassas (Va.) Unity Reed picked the program Sunday over fellow blue blood programs and it feels like a strong get for the future of the defense.
“Murphy is proof there is still room for that twitchy, downhill 'backer with fast-flow principles and flashy finishing ability. He works especially well in the wash with great vision and instincts despite a filled out 6'2", 225-pound frame. Efficient in working through tight windows, the Virginian can beat blockers by engaging or avoiding with short-area quickness and pop. Good upper-body strength and suddenness allow for the capability to take on linemen and lead blockers alike with success.
“As as sophomore, he shined on tape as a pure attacker. Almost a gambler with the instincts on display on a green dog or as a blitzer, Murphy's straight line ability towards the ball carrier is among the best in the class. As he has filled out, the finishing power has become more head turning, too, despite room to improve in the control department. Better technique and playing within his ideal frame will intensify clear strengths in his game on early downs and run scenarios.
“While there isn't much of Murphy playing the passing game on tape, he has displayed the overall athleticism this offseason in camp settings. Not only did he validate a two-year recruitment at Alabama's camp in June, with great linear speed, but he worked coverage against smaller, quicker players elsewhere this spring and summer. The rising-senior appeared comfortable competing near the line of scrimmage with better hip flip than one would expect at his size. He understands leverage and angles while covering in underneath and trail position, but not the type one would ask to single up on a running back or slot receiver.
“If we're looking at his ceiling, Murphy could have more third-down upside as a pass rusher with his frame and short-area explosiveness. The floor, as a downhill run defender with the capability to pressure the passer as a blitzer, is strong enough to consider him among the top defenders UA has secured to this point in the recruiting cycle. It never hurts to hit a strong geographical pipeline, either, with the amount of consistent talent coming out of the D-M-V (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) metro.”