Murphy one of five finalists for Hendricks Award

Published 2:29 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

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

Murphy, who was previously named to the final national watch list for the 2022 edition of the Ted Hendricks Award last week, advanced to the final round of balloting and is among the top five finalists remaining under consideration for the award.

The Bulldog standout is the only non-NCAA Division I player remaining as a top five finalist and joins Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Isaiah Foskey of Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan’s Jose Ramirez and Southern Cal’s Tuli Tuipulotu in the group of five. The final vote will be tallied on Dec. 12 with the winner of the prestigious honor slated to be named on Dec. 14 by the Ted Hendricks Foundation.

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, of Dowagiac, has had a dominant season for the defending NCAA Division II National Champion Bulldogs. He currently leads the nation in total sacks (24.5) along with tackles for loss (36.0) this year. In addition, he has 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.

Earlier this week, Murphy was chosen as the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year and also tabbed as the Super Region Three Defensive Player of the Year. Murphy has set an all-time NCAA single-season record for sacks with 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 in a campaign.

Additionally, Murphy is also one of nine national finalists for the 2022 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II Player of the Year.

This week, the Bulldogs will host West Florida in the 2022 NCAA D2 National Semifinals on Saturday (Dec. 10) at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is set for 12:02 p.m., with the game slated to be carried live by ESPN+.

The winner advances to the D2 National Championship game on Dec. 17 in McKinney, Texas.