This article was written by Tyler Bloyd, a contributor with KentuckySports.co.
With the days winding down until the Wildcats kick-off of the 2011 football season, we look in to who might be the team’s top players or leaders, so we will continue with our countdown of the Top Ten Kentucky players according to NCAA Football 2012. And yes, we are doing a Louisville Top Ten as well, you can check out the Cardinal Blog where Kelly Patrick is doing the Cards.
We stay in-state when talking about the #6 players on the list. Coming out of Monroe County high school down in Tompkinsville, KY, #52 Billy Joe Murphy. He was rated very high as a senior, top-ten players in the state according to Rivals.com and Scout.com, where he started both sides of the ball for three year’s at offensive and defensive tackle. Playing on both ends, he was second on the team in total tackles with 81 and helped his offensive line to a school record of total offense, as well as averaging close to 250 rushing yards per game. Leading his team to the KY state playoffs his junior and senior year, he was named to the All-South Region by PrepStar while off the field Billy played baseball, member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta, FFA to go along with his 4.0 GPA.
Heading in to college, it was a dream to play for the Wildcats as he gew up a Cat fan, he redshirted his true freshman season, where he was named the Scout Team’s offensive player of the week when UK took on Vanderbilt in 2007. His 2nd year in Lexington, first official year on the roster, he appeard in 7 games, three of those were starts, 2 at left tackle and one at right, helping his offensive line to a SEC best and 4th nationally for fewest sacks allowed.
2009 rang in his sophomore season, where he mainly saw action for the special teams unit, not doing to much on the stat line, but appearing in all 13 games for Kentucky and first year coach Joker Phillips. Last season, Murphy’s junior year, he started in 6 games, three different positions(left & right tackle, left guard) that helped a young and talented offensive line to 4th ranking in total offense for the SEC.
His senior year with the Wildcats has him tagged as the official starter at the right tackle position, where coaches were pleased with his pre-season performances/workouts. He will get to tally to his 33 game total and hopefulyl help UK to another bowl game and succesful season. 23 Days! Go Cats!