One of the first true Justin Fuente recruits to be added to this roster has been Henri Murphy who reclassified from 2017 to 2016 in June when he visited and committed to the Hokies. The JUCO wide receiver was then able to get Henderson State to release him from his letter of intent making him eligible to play immediately for Virginia Tech.
Murphy made his debut this Saturday as the Hokies used him some in the second half of their victory over Liberty out of the slot with Murphy having 1 catch for 12 yards and 1 carry for 3 yards. Murphy also was not a primary slot receiver with Cam Phillips moving to the starting slot spot and C.J. Carroll also getting a fair amount of reps with the first team offense working in four receiver sets.
However, no one should be surprised if Murphy’s role grows a lot throughout the season.
#Hokies WR coach Holmon Wiggins on Henri Murphy: "There’s no doubt that, when you watch him run, that we was born to do that.”
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) September 7, 2016
#Hokies WR Henri Murphy says he's never lost a race in his life. Said beating teammate Greg Stroman by 2 steps was closest he's come.
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) September 6, 2016
Henri Murphy is the fastest player on Virginia Tech’s roster and probably one of the fastest college football players across the country as someone who can run a 10.7 100 meter dash. Murphy’s tremendous speed has the potential to be a very dangerous weapon in an offense that emphasizes trying to get playmakers in space and take advantage of their athleticism and agility.
Murphy still has a lot of developing to do as a wide receiver but the sophomore showed some promise with a solid, but limited debut against Liberty. Murphy also seems to be making a lot of good strides in practice and if he continues to make them, playing time should only come as he definitely the upside to pass C.J. Carroll on the slot depth chart.
However, what seems clear is that the Hokies are going to want to find ways to get Murphy in the game and take advantage of his tremendous speed whatever that role may be. One role that may be used a lot for Murphy is that you could see him used on a fair amount of bubble screens and jet sweeps that will give him some space to work with and make some things happen.
Henri Murphy’s role may not be that big on Saturday against Tennessee but come next month when the Hokies face the gauntlet of their ACC schedule, the former JUCO receiver might just be a very integral part of Justin Fuente’s offense.