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Season in Review: Chris Murphy

Murphy got more playing time in 2017 but he will still have to wait until next year to become a more integral part of the defense.

East Carolina v Cincinnati Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Numbers

  • 27 tackles
  • 2.0 TFL
  • 3 passes defended
  • 1 fumble recovery

Since he transferred to Cincinnati from Arkansas, Chris Murphy has slowly climbed the ladder on the defensive depth chart. In 2017, he did not reach the summit, but he once again expanded his role on the team. Formerly a special teams starter and occasional defensive contributor, Murphy actually played in a season-high nine games and was able to make the transition from cornerback to safety.

Murphy’s expanded role obviously led to increased production. He set a career-high with 27 tackles and two for loss. The 5’11” defensive back from Marietta, Georgia ranked 11th on the team in tackles and he also managed three passes defended, which tied with Perry Young for the third-most among Bearcats.

In all, Murphy was used to plug holes and spell others who were higher on the depth chart. He was at least effective in that role and showed some ability to create negative plays and play well in coverage.

The Best of the Best

Sept. 9 at Michigan

Most Bearcats did not play all that well against the Wolverines, but Murphy did. He had four tackles, including one for loss.

Sept. 23 at Navy

Murphy recorded a career-high four solo stops and also recovered a fumble during UC’s American Athletic Conference opener.

Nov. 18 at East Carolina

A tackle for loss stood out as a highlight in yet another loss.

For Next Year

Its likely that Murphy didn’t just come to UC because things didn’t work at Arkansas. He will be looking for more playing time next season and based on his work in a small sample size the last two years, he should get a chance. If he can keep being a versatile defender who can cover the pass and get into the backfield, then next year could be the year where he cements himself as a permanent fixture at the top of the depth chart.