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Longhorns QB Maalik Murphy Has 'Impressed' Steve Sarkisian Ahead of Matchup vs. Texas Tech

Maalik Murphy will travel with the Texas Longhorns for the team's first road game of the season against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, a positive step for Murphy's development at the position.

A few day after the Texas Longhorns' 20-19 loss the Alabama Crimson Tide, coach Steve Sarkisian kept it short when discussing the status of true freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy as a possible candidate for playing time after signal-callers Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card were both injured in the game. 

"He's not healthy," Sarkisian said of Murphy on Sept. 12.

Murphy is still getting back into the swing of things after suffering a severe ankle injury at the end of his high school career in Junipero Serra, Calif., but Sarkisian, often known as a quarterback-friendly coach, has kept close tabs on the young signal-caller.

And on Thursday he announced that Murphy will be one of four quarterbacks to travel to Lubbock for Saturday's Big 12 opener against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, a positive development given what Sarkisian said about the health of his young quarterback previously.

"I've been impressed with Maalik this week," he said. "I think that he has made really good strides. Again, I touched on it as compared to a week ago from where he was to where he was this week. I think this is invaluable experience for quarterbacks to be able to go on the road, to be involved in the game-planning, to hear play calls, to hear adjustments. So to get him to be able to go with us this week I think is a real positive." 

One of SI All-American's top recruits in 2022, Murphy's rise to prominence started his sophomore year under center. Murphy graded out as SI99's No. 54ranked player. He was the No. 7 QB in the class. Last season, he threw for 2,954 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with six rushing scores.

Murphy's injury held him out of a large majority of early offseason work, but he was still impressing Sarkisian regardless once he got on the practice field. 

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"It's been a better start," Sarkisian said of Murphy on Aug. 10. "As I touched on, just missing the frontend of spring ball, missing the frontend of summer, I think it's been a good start for him. You definitely see the talent, the skillset, and the plays that definitely wow you. Now, it's just really drilling down into the system to where he's really comfortable for six, seven, eight, 10 plays in a row ... that's what we're working towards."

It seems that the Longhorns and Murphy have certainly worked their way toward this in a short time. Now, soaking in the hostile road environment of Jones AT&T Stadium will be the next big measure of experience of Murphy, even though he'll be standing on the sidelines.

Texas and Texas Tech kickoff Saturday at 2:30 p.m. C.T.

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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