Recruiting Week In Review

March 30, 2019
3,097

Written by Joe Bradshaw

Since the year 2000, there have been two running backs win the Heisman Trophy, three if one counts Reggie Bush (he may have had it taken away, but he did initially win it).  Every other Heisman winner was a quarterback.  Unquestionably, the quarterback position has become the premier one in college football.  As overlooked as running backs may be, the adage that teams have to establish the run to be successful is still valid.  One has to look no further than how Dexter Williams helped transform the Notre Dame offense last season when he came off suspension.  Recently a pair of top rated Class of 2020 running backs visited South Bend and Irish Sports Daily spoke with both of them following their visits.  What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?

It’s always a good sign when a highly coveted player makes the time to squeeze in a visit between his other two planned visits.  That’s exactly what Chris Tyree‍, RB, 5-9, 175, Thomas Dale High School, Chester, VA did with the Irish.  He trekked to South Bend last December and has an official visit scheduled for June, but decided to work yet a third visit into his busy schedule.

“It was great just to be back in South Bend,” he said.  “I spent a lot of time with the players.  For me to actually figure out where I want to go, that’s probably what I need to do.  I’m going to be with the players more than anybody else.”

Tyree spent quite a bit of time with Jalen Elliott and Troy Pride, but really spent time with the entire team.

“There aren’t really any cliques or anything,” he observed.  “If you see one teammate there, you’re bound to see mostly the whole team.  That’s what I like to see.  It’s a real brotherhood.”

Tyree met with new Notre Dame running backs coach Lance Taylor for the first time face to face.

“He’s a real cool guy, especially since I’d never met him in person before,” he said.  “He’s the type of coach that you really don’t have to talk football with.  You can just sit down and talk about life.”

Tyree was on campus with another top running back recruit, Tirek Murphy, Jr. and the two talked about what it would be like to play together.  Clearly, they are complementary type players and Tyree admitted that it would be an interesting situation.

Tyree plans to pursue a degree in Kinesiology and looked more closely at how that degree would work in the real world.

“They just talked about what majors I could do with that,” he shared.  “There’s a lot of choices I could pick if I came here and wanted to study that.”

Tyree plans to return to Notre Dame on June 21st for his official visit.  On this trip he came with his head coach, Kevin Tucker.  He’ll have his family with him on his official visit but besides that he plans to look at the same things.  He also has an official visit set for Oklahoma on April 13th and plans to take one to Alabama though he doesn’t yet have that date set.  Notre Dame, though, has continued to keep themselves high on his list.

“I like it (Notre Dame) a lot,” he said.  “It’s a really great school.  It has a really good balance that I like between football, academics and the social life around campus.  I like it a lot.”

Tirek Murphy Jr.‍, RB, 6-0, 220, Christ the King High School, Middle Village, NY, as was previously mentioned, visited Notre Dame along with Tyree.  Unlike Tyree, this was Murphy, Jr.’s first visit to the Irish campus and it could not have gone better.

“It was great,” he said.  “I got to see everything.  I got to meet all of the players.  I got to see the practice, do a photoshoot.  Everybody was just genuine and it just felt good to be on campus.”

Murphy, Jr.’s mom came with him on the unofficial visit and she seemed to enjoy it even more than her son.

“My mom, she’s in love right now,” he laughed.  “She’s in love.”

Like Tyree, Murphy, Jr. got to spend time with much of the Irish team.

“I was with everybody,” he said.  “I was just talking to them and asking them, ‘Why did you choose Notre Dame?’  They all said, ‘When you choose a school, don’t choose it because of a coach.  Choose it because of the players and your brothers, the people you’ll be with for the next three or four years.’”

The four-star running back said that the Irish players were definitely the kind of guys that he could see himself fitting in with.

“They remind me of myself,” he said.  “They know how to have fun, hang out, but they also know how to work hard and stay focused.”

Murphy was not surprised by the academics at Notre Dame.

“The academic stuff really speaks for itself,” he said.  “Joe (Wilkins) was telling me he’s friends with a lot of smart people.  It’s just connections.  You’re going to meet future millionaires and CEO’s here and everything.  It’s great.”

Murphy, Jr. went out to dinner with running backs coach Lance Taylor on Saturday night and then went over X’s and O’s with him on Sunday.

“He said I’m a big priority for them,” Murphy recalled.  “After spending time with him, he’s a very honest guy.  He’s a cool coach as well.  He’s young so he’s relatable.  He coached top guys like Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel when he was with the Panthers.  If I come to this school, I would be able to trust him to get me to the next level.”

Just as he did with Tyree, Taylor expressed his desire to pair the two, kind of a thunder and lightning duo.

“They want Chris Tyree to be the versatile speed back and they want me to be the big versatile back,” Murphy, Jr. explained.  “The blend of both of us would be unstoppable.”

Murphy, Jr. got the opportunity to meet Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

“He’s also a very honest guy,” he said.  “He told me he’d been a head coach for thirty years and knows how to deal with the recruiting process.  He said, ‘You don’t want to rush or anything like that.’  He told me to try to narrow down my list so I don’t have to rush and lose scholarships because of it.  He said I’m a huge priority for them.”

In addition to Notre Dame, Murphy, Jr. holds scholarship offers from Michigan, Oregon, LSU, Duke, Miami, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Boston College, Rutgers and many more.  Still, the Irish appear to be in a solid position.  He has already decided that he will take an official visit to Notre Dame.

“I want to go during the season so I can get a game day feel,” he explained.  “That’s what Coach Brian Kelly was telling me.  He was telling me to come during the season so I could hang out with the guys after the game and see how it is after a game day.”

Notre Dame couldn’t have made a stronger impression on Murphy, Jr. for his first ever visit.

“Notre Dame is definitely a top school for me,” he shared.  “I don’t want to say too much but it’s definitely a top school.”

 
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