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Ferris State’s Caleb Murphy manifested NFL opportunity
Caleb Murphy accumulated 40 sacks while at Ferris State. (Courtesy: Ferris State Athletics)

Ferris State’s Caleb Murphy manifested NFL opportunity

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (BVM) – Will Anderson from Alabama and Tyree Wilson of Texas Tech have received the most attention among edge rushers in this year’s NFL Draft. However, Caleb Murphy just wrapped up one of the more historic careers in college football history.

A two-time Division II national champion at Ferris State, Murphy led the country with 39.5 tackles for loss while breaking the NCAA single-season sack record with 25.5. A kid from Dowagiac, Michigan, which has a population just shy of 6,000, now looks to take on the NFL.

“It’s always been the goal,” Murphy said. “I think it was always destined for me because that’s what I’ve worked for and I have manifested it. I’ve been ready for this moment my whole life.”

Growing up watching his brother play, Murphy quickly realized football was something he wanted to pursue. He started at the age of 7 and has not looked back since.

“You always watch what your older brother does,” Murphy said. “When I watched him play football, he was really good at it, then it became a family household thing. My little brother did it, my two older brothers did it, so it was nice to be a part of.”

After being an all-state selection in his final two years of high school, he started his college career at Grand Valley State before transferring to Ferris State following his freshman redshirt season.

His first year for the Bulldogs was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but he wasted no time when he got back on the field in 2021.

He recorded 14.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss while being a big part of Ferris State’s championship defense.

With one more year left of eligibility, the question was how Murphy would follow up that type of season.

“It felt like that wasn’t enough to put myself in the best situation possible to be in the NFL,” Murphy said.

Then he answered the bell.

Murphy entered a 2022 November postseason matchup against Pittsburg State with 18.5 sacks. He finished the day with an astounding six on the day, eclipsing Terrell Suggs’ 24 single-season sack record.

“I had told my mom before the season that I wanted to break the sack record. That was my goal for the year,” Murphy said. “After the game, we had a good day and celebrated. But after that, we had to win another national championship.”

A few weeks later, the Bulldogs did just that with a 41-14 victory over Colorado School of Mines.

After a legendary individual career, the national championships stand out the most to Murphy.

“People dream of those moments,” Murphy said. “My team is everything to me. To win back-to-back national championships means the world to me.”

Now with his legacy cemented at the college level, all focus for Murphy turns to make an impact at the professional level.

After attending the combine and his pro day on the horizon, Murphy will have the opportunity to show what he can bring to the table after years of hard work and dedication.

“It requires a ton of training, situations you’re not comfortable in, and just pushing yourself even if it’s the hardest time in your life,” Murphy said. “It has to be something you really want. The training process has to be something you want to do, not something that you have to do.”

Murphy has goals of being the best player he can be and winning big at the next level. But he also has a chance to provide life-changing money to the ones who gave so much to him growing up.

“Generational wealth is a big thing for me,” Murphy said. “I want to take care of my family and be able to change the dynamic.”