Rivals.com - Five-Star Spotlight: Shawn Murphy
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Five-Star Spotlight: Shawn Murphy

Shawn Murphy
Shawn Murphy (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Only a handful of the nation's best high school football players finish the cycle with five-star rankings. As Rivals.com begins to evaluate the top talent in the class of 2022, the national analyst team has selected 10 rising juniors to debut as five-star prospects.

Today's five-star spotlight is on Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson linebacker Shawn Murphy.

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CLASS OF 2022 TOP 100: Monday's release | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday

FIVE-STAR SPOTLIGHT: Denver Harris | Julian Armella | Luther Burden | Jaheim Singletary | Walter Nolen | Kam Dewberry | Travis Shaw

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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PROGRAMS TO WATCH

Northern Virginia has been home to some really good linebackers over the last few recruiting classes and Murphy is next up. Programs from coast to coast are vying for his commitment but he’s in no rush to end his recruitment.

Murphy has already been on a lot of visits with his teammate, Rivals250 defensive lineman Tyleik Williams. In 2020 Murphy has taken trips to Penn State, Virginia, North Carolina, NC State, Duke and Alabama but he’s visited a number of other programs.

Keep an eye on Penn State, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee and South Carolina. They figure to end up as major contenders down the stretch. Virginia Tech and Virginia will be there as well.

Murphy was working on setting up visits to Ohio State, LSU, Clemson and Oklahoma for this spring and summer, but those plans are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic and recruiting dead period.

ANALYST'S TAKE

There is so much to like about Murphy’s game and it’s easy to see why college coaches are gushing over him. His speed running sideline-to-sideline is outstanding and he is plenty physical. Murphy has the skillset to play outside linebacker but he could easily bump inside as he adds more muscle. He is strong enough to shed would-be blockers and bring down ball-carriers by himself. Murphy does a good job blitzing as well so look for defensive coordinators to move him around the formation to confuse the offensive linemen.

Murphy’s game is similar to former Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland because he is a rangy and physical player that can make plays in the backfield. He also has the room in his frame to fill out, just like Ragland did when he arrived in Tuscaloosa. Former Oklahoma linebacker Caleb Kelly also comes to mind because of their physical similarities and ability to play in space.

ODDS AND ENDS

This past season Murphy racked up 90 tackles along with two fumble recoveries and a pass breakup. Murphy called the defense last season, which is unusual for a sophomore, but his teammates and coaches have a lot of respect for his abilities, leadership and humility.

Murphy’s father’s side of the family has roots in Ohio and he takes trips up to see his relatives fairly often.

Once Murphy’s football career is over, he is interested in pursuing sports medicine or athletic training.