Former Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy announces transfer to Duke football

Former four-star recruit and Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy will join the Blue Devils next season.
Former four-star recruit and Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy will join the Blue Devils next season.

After a flurry of roster exits following the departure of former head coach Mike Elko to Texas A&M, the Blue Devils have added a big one.

Former Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy — the fourth-ranked quarterback in the transfer portal according to 247 Sports — verbally committed to Duke Friday, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, and confirmed his commitment via social media Saturday. Murphy was a four-star recruit in the class of 2022 and retains three years of eligibility.

Head coach Manny Diaz reportedly had a strong relationship with Murphy dating back to the former Longhorn’s middle school days, and Diaz was able to convince the highly-touted signal caller to follow him to Durham. Penn State, where Diaz previously was the defensive coordinator, offered Murphy before he initially chose to commit to Texas as a prep recruit.

The report comes after the Blue Devils lost two of their own quarterbacks, as Riley Leonard transferred to Notre Dame Dec. 12 and four-star class of 2024 recruit Tyler Cherry decommitted from Duke Dec. 15. Cherry’s choice to part ways with the program came just a day after it was reported that Diaz will hire SMU offensive coordinator Jonathan Brewer as to head up his offense. Murphy will join redshirt freshman Henry Belin IV, freshman Grayson Loftis and freshman Donald Tomlin in the Blue Devils’ quarterback room.

At his previous school, Murphy was a part of one of the most talented quarterback rooms in the country, battling for playing time alongside two No. 1-ranked recruits in Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning. Ewers, the top recruit in the class of 2021, initially committed to Ohio State before transferring to Texas before the 2022 season. Manning, the nephew of former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, was the top-ranked recruit in the class of 2023.

While Murphy did not win the starting job over Ewers, he beat out Manning to be the backup quarterback for the Longhorns as a redshirt freshman, and started two games this season after Ewers went down with an injury. In his two starts against BYU and then-No. 23 Kansas State, Murphy threw for 418 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He did not attempt any rushes in either game. 

However, his playing time the rest of the season was limited as Ewers returned and No. 3 Texas pushed for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Longhorns won the Big 12 and will face No. 2 Washington in the Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 1. 

Murphy chose to leave the team before its playoff game in order to give himself more time to find a new school and begin his transition. In a report describing his decision from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Murphy said that he was looking for “a place that I can play.”

Diaz will have the entire offseason to determine who his starting quarterback will be. Although both Belin and Loftis started games for Duke last season, Murphy may very well be atop the depth chart heading into the spring. 

The program did not immediately respond to The Chronicle's request for comment.

Dom Fenoglio | Sports Managing Editor

Dom Fenoglio is a Trinity sophomore and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 120th volume.


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