FSU’s Murphy finishes 2nd in ‘D2 Heisman’ voting

Published 9:20 pm Friday, December 16, 2022

MCKINNEY, TX — Ferris State University edge-rusher Caleb Murphy had a historic 2022 season – one of the best ever by a defender – that has brought with it several accolades and pieces of hardware.

Murphy was close to winning yet another award during the 2022 Harlon Hill Trophy Award presentation Friday night. ​​The Harlon Hill Trophy is a college football award given to the individual selected as the most valuable player in NCAA Division II.

Colorado School of Mines quarterback John Matocha finished with the 178 votes to take home the trophy, with Murphy finishing runner-up with 117. Rounding out the top five was Shepherd quarterback Tyson Bagent at No. 3 (108), Virginia Union running back Jada Byers at No. 4 (48) and Ouachita Baptist running back TJ Cole at No. 5 (37).

Murphy was the lone defensive player in the field of finalists.

A former Dowagiac standout, Murphy has had a dominant season for the defending NCAA Division II National Champion Bulldogs. He set an all-divisions NCAA single-season record with 25.5 sacks in 2022. He leads the nation in tackles for loss with 37.5 and has added three forced fumbles. Murphy was named the 2022 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year.

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. 

Murphy was recently 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 and the Bulldogs (12-1) will face off against Matocha and the Orediggers (12-2) in the NCAA Division II National Championship Game in McKinney, Texas at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 on ESPNU/ESPN+.