Myles Murphy is one of the young lions in the UNC front seven who played last year as a true freshman. Like several of the younger young linemen, Murphy saw his playing time increase as the year went on, giving the Tar Heels increased depth up front on defense.
Murphy played in all 12 games and finished with eight tackles, two tackles for loss and recorded a sack against Wake Forest. He also added a quarterback hurry during his true freshman year.
Now with a year of experience under his belt, Murphy will play a bigger role on the line.
“I’ve been working on my run blocks, getting quicker instincts,” he said. “I’ve been studying a lot of players in the NFL, seeing what they do and comparing it to mine.”
Murphy is a versatile player who can line up inside or outside.
“Right now, I’m mainly at defensive tackle,” he said, “but I can play any spot on the defensive line.”
Murphy wants to repeat his performance against the Demon Deacons, chasing down the quarterback for a sack, multiple times this year.
“Getting to the ball on that Wake Forest play, me chasing it down, that’s what I’ve got to do all season,” he said. “Get to the ball. Get to the quarterback. Get a quicker get off.”
Murphy still has plenty of room to improve. He came to UNC without knowing how to lift weights properly.
“I didn’t know how to squat,” he said. “My technique was bad. I’m squatting 515 (pounds), but when I came in, I was only squatting like 325. The coaches boosted that.
The increased strength should help in the trenches.
“Going against the offensive line, on inside runs, you can just knock the o-line back,” he said. “It feels good to go off and make the play. It’s a wonderful feeling.”