Ferris State’s Murphy named a finalist for Hendricks Award

Published 10:55 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2022

BIG RAPIDS — Standout defensive end Caleb Murphy of Ferris State University has been chosen as a national finalist for the 2022 Ted Hendricks Award, which is presented to the top defensive end in college football.

The final national watch list for the 2022 edition of the Ted Hendricks Award was announced thru the Ted Hendricks Foundation with this year’s recipient slated to be announced on Dec. 7.

Murphy, of Dowagiac, is one of only two non-NCAA Division I players on the prestigious list for the annual award as the top defensive end in the country.

The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football’s first three-time first-team All-American. On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the Award’s recipient each year. Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners are included on the Award’s selection committee. Candidates may represent any class (Freshman through Senior) as well as any four-year NCAA accredited school. The candidate’s primary position must be Defensive End.

Past winners of the award include such names as Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs, David Pollack of Georgia, Michigan’s LaMarr Woodley and Aidan Hutchinson in addition to performers such as South Carolina alum Jadeveon Clowney and Ohio State’s Chase Young.

Murphy has had a dominant season for the defending NCAA Division II National Champion Bulldogs. He wrapped up the regular-season leading the country in total sacks with 18 (-136 yards) this year along with tackles for loss with 27 (-153 yards). In addition, he forced a pair of fumbles while playing a pivotal role on one of the nation’s top defensive units.

The returning All-America honoree claimed the GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week honor three times this year and was also tabbed as the National Defensive Player of the Week this fall. His play helped FSU secure the #2 seed in Super Region Three and earn the program’s eighth consecutive NCAA Division II Playoff berth.

This past week, in the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs, Murphy set an all-time NCAA single-season record for sacks as he increased his total to 24.5 this year, which ranks as the most for any player in the history of college football in a single season at the NCAA level. He also broke the school marks for both most sacks and tackles for loss (34.5 TFL to date) in a campaign.

Along with being on the list for the Ted Hendricks Award, Murphy is also a national finalist for the 2022 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year honor and is a 2022 Harlon Hill Trophy nominee.

This week, the Bulldogs will square off against archrival Grand Valley State in the national quarterfinal round at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale. Kickoff for Saturday’s Super Region Three Championship game is set for 1 p.m.