Dowagiac’s Murphy ready for upcoming NFL Draft

Published 9:35 am Friday, April 21, 2023

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DOWAGIAC — Caleb Murphy has a date with destiny next week.

The Dowagiac native and Ferris State University standout is patiently waiting to potentially hear his name called during next week’s NFL Draft.

“I’m extremely happy with where I am,” he said. “I think I put myself in a good spot. At this point it’s just being patient. I’m just waiting to see where I go.”

After helping lead Ferris State to its second consecutive national championship, Murphy went to work to put himself in the best position come draft day. He was able to put his work on display for all to see both in the East-West Shrine Bowl Game Feb. 2 and the NFL Combine Feb. 27.

“Growing up, you watch that, and you see those guys on there, like ‘man, they’re big and fast, and he can really play football,’” he said. “For me to be one of those guys that the kids now can look to is really cool for me and just to be able to experience and something that I can show my family was really cool.”

Murphy had spent the past three months training at a facility in Florida, which helped him learn what it will take for the next steps in his professional career.

“I learned that in order to be in that position, you really have to separate yourself from a lot of people,” he said. “It’s not easy. I learned how to just be alone. Being alone for the first time, truly away from my family, I haven’t been out of the state like that for months. It was really nice to be a part of that and go out and just learn.”

Coming from a Division II school like Ferris State, Murphy has heard all of the talk surrounding his success at a smaller college. After standing toe-to-toe with his fellow draft hopefuls from larger schools in the Shrine Bowl, NFL Combine and his training facility, Murphy feels confident about his standing.

“My first taste of all of that was when I left. I got to my training facility, and I was bigger than almost half of them,” he said. “It was nice to finally size some guys up. That was the biggest thing — people try to say you can do this, you do that, but he can’t. We’re all the same size, we’re all men. I think the biggest thing for me was, once I got there to my training facility, all of that went away the moment we started doing drill work and I was like ‘I’m fine’. We went to a different school, that’s how I see it, so that’s exactly how I played it. It was really nice going in with that confidence, especially after the East-West Shrine Bowl Game. My confidence was through the roof.”

While his results on the field speak volumes, Murphy credits the Ferris State coaching staff for helping him prepare for his next stage.

“I think it’s just all confidence and instilling learning in you that not everybody’s gonna do it but the ones who can need to work hard, especially coming from here,” he said. “I think with my coaches, they instilled in me culture and love, telling us we can do it and helping us feel confident in our play… I also would say they are very persistent on how they can see you doing things, so they help you get to that point.”

Murphy’s play on the football field has taken him to places he never imagined. For Murphy, it would not have been possible without the support from his family, friends, and the greater Dowagiac community.

“They love me and they show their support,” he said. “They come to see me, and they make sure I’m not alone. They make those trips to Vegas, Indy, family and friends. They all make the drive to come see me and support me so I feel like I’m not doing it alone. That’s the nicest thing about it.”

While Murphy does not know what awaits him in the NFL Draft, the possibility of hearing his name called would be a dream come true.

“That’s a feeling that I can’t describe,” he said. “I can’t even picture right now. It’s just going to be that ‘wow’ moment. I’m just happy that I’ve done everything to get where I have. I think it’ll finally tell me a little bit of how much my hard work is paying off, so it would be nice.”

The first round of the NFL Draft will get underway at 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. Rounds two and three will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and rounds four through seven at noon on Saturday. NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will provide coverage.