The "comp'' game is a dangerous one. Yes, it helps fans, media, and recruiters - and eventually, NFL scouts - be able to create a mental framework for what a player might be. At the same time, in the case of, say, Maalik Murphy, we are heaping monstrous expectations on a kid who is barely old enough to shave to be ...
"The Next Cam Newton.''
That's why they've been calling Murphy "Baby Cam'' since he was 14.
Or, now that elite QB prospect from California is a 2022 commit to the Texas Longhorns, maybe he's ...
"The Next Vince Young''?
It's a dangerous game. But it is indeed the way it's played.
So along comes Murphy of Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra, on his birthday this Saturday committing to Texas, with new Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian making a recruiting statement.
That statement: Yeah, UT is loading up to "win'' Texas, with pledges from five-star running back Jaydon Blue of Houston Klein Cain, four-star receiver Armani Winfield of Lewisville High, Arlington Martin High School three-star linebacker Trevell Johnson and four-star cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau of Port Arthur Memorial.
But UT just "won'' California, too.
"I think he's the perfect coach to prepare me for the next level," Murphy told 247Sports in a recent interview. "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."
Murphy hasn't done it on the high school field yet, not really. But he's about to show off what is universally seen as transcendent talent, with his 6-5, 225-pound frame drawing comparisons to the likes of NFL star and Heisman winner Cam Newton (now 6-5, 245) and, sure, Vince Young (6-5, 232), an all-time Longhorn, with a national championship win in his pocket.
Murphy celebrated his birthday by saying "yes'' to a level of pressure that was going to occur at most any school. Go to UCLA or USC or Michigan and a kid is going to be "The Next Somebody'' there, too. But with this commitment, "Baby Cam'' will hopefully be "raised right'' in Austin, under the nurturing eye of Sarkisian and a recruiting/coaching staff that just made its first big-boy push into getting Texas back in the chase for true contention.
In other words, thanks to the successful recruiting of "Baby Cam,'' Sark's Texas Longhorns program seems about to get all grown up.
"I think Texas has everything in place to make a run," Murphy told 247sports. "They can recruit nationally and I'm already seeing that with some of the guys I've been talking with. There's a ton of talent right there in Texas but they can go out and recruit players from all over the country and that's really exciting for me."