Murphy can now be 'like a normal kid'

SAN CLEMENTE -- The Kyle Murphy Show has finally come to an end, unless the Southland's top college recruit lives up to his hype, in which case the show may just be beginning.

Murphy unburdened himself Wednesday afternoon when he announced that he would attend Stanford instead of USC to continue his football career. The 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive tackle signed his national letter of intent at 1:54 p.m., inside a temporary building on campus with his mother, Keri, sitting at his side.

Keri and Gary Murphy have an older son, Kevin Murphy, who is a left tackle for Harvard; he is 6-8, 310.

Murphy was one of the last major players still undecided. Actually, he was with his parents Tuesday evening when he finalized his decision, then told his parents after telling a couple of close friends.

The announcement came in front of a couple of hundred students, and a horde of cameras, with about two dozen classmates who were recognized for their signings or commitments to colleges to attend their athletic careers.

"I had to make my own decision," Murphy said afterward, when it was mentioned that teammate Christian Tober was trying to recruit him to USC to the end. Tober, a receiver and defensive back, will attend USC as a preferred walk-on.

"I just felt I connected with the people better at Stanford, I know the incoming class pretty well -- a lot of kids," said Murphy, who carries a 3.97 grade-point average is unsure of his major but will consider an engineering or economics degree.

"(Stanford) said I could definitely come and compete for a tackle spot, it was kind of up to me."

Murphy took official trips to Stanford, USC, Oregon and Florida, and an unofficial trip to California.

His prevailing feeling was that of relief.

"I can just try to act like a normal kid now," Murphy said "You get calls every night from all these different schools, it's kind of tough to get some alone time and act like a normal kid."

Jon Hamro, the athletic director at San Clemente for 17 years -- and the coach last fall in the Tritons' 12-2 season in which it reached the Pac-5 finals -- said the hubbub surrounding Murphy was an absolute zoo.

"We've had a lot of signees over the years," he said, "but never anything like this."