Pitt defensive end Murphy cracking the starting lineup
Given a second chance, Pitt defensive end Bryan Murphy said he won't lose sight of what's important.
Murphy, a highly recruited New Jersey star from Don Bosco Prep, has muscled his way onto the first-team defense after sitting out last season with injuries and academic difficulties.
"I got my grades up," said Murphy, who will be a redshirt sophomore this fall. "Everything is good."
His situation also looked good last spring before he was declared academically ineligible.
"Kids lose sight of the fact that you are also here to get an education, and they focus mainly on football," he said. "A lot of kids procrastinate, which is what I did.
"I learned from that. It won't happen again."
Murphy said sitting out helped him physically, especially after he had surgery in August to insert a piece
of bone from his arm in his wrist. An old foot injury also healed.
"Even if I did play, I might not have made it through the season because (the injuries) were pretty severe," Murphy said.
This spring he looks like one of Pitt's best defensive linemen along with T.J. Clemmings but fifth-year senior Shayne Hale recently has started pushing the starters for playing time.
Coach Paul Chryst wants to see more of backup quarterback Trey Anderson, who received nearly every snap with the second-team offense Tuesday. Previously, Mark Myers was working with the No. 1 backups.
"He has done enough where you can balance the reps off to give him a chance to see things a little bit more and find out a little bit more who he is," Chryst said.
Coaches said there is no depth chart, and Chryst added that the change was not a punitive measure aimed at Myers.
"We have to make sure we can look at everyone," Chryst said.
"It's not an in-the-doghouse kind of thing. At the same time, Trey did a couple things to merit some more reps, and those reps have to come from someone and they came from Mark today."
Heading to Heinz
Chryst will close practice Thursday and move the team to Heinz Field for the first time. After that, there are two other practices before the spring game April 14 at North Hills' Martorelli Stadium.
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