Murphy looks like a sure starter for a rebuilding secondary.
Nothing is going to be set in stone on Washington’s depth chart on April 22 — not with 132 days until the Sept. 1 season opener at Rutgers.
But one of the big takeaways from the conclusion of spring football — and four weeks that preceded Saturday’s scrimmage — was the continued emergence of redshirt freshman cornerback Byron Murphy.
With two starting cornerbacks spots up for grabs, Murphy and junior Jordan Miller held down those positions throughout the spring and appear well positioned — if not locked in — to win the starting jobs in fall camp.
Murphy, a 5-foot-11, 177-pound redshirt freshman from Scottsdale, Ariz. — and the nephew of former NBA star Mike Bibby — led the team in interceptions this spring and nearly had another spectacular one Saturday, diving and corralling a deflected pass with his right hand. Murphy jumped up and celebrated as if he’d made the interception, but a sideline official ran onto the field and ruled the pass incomplete.
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“He’s had a really good spring,” UW coach Chris Petersen said, adding: “If he keeps working hard through the spring and summer, he’ll be an exciting guy come fall.”
Petersen offered a bit of a tease when asked about the possibility of a new uniform combination this year.
“We might have a little something,” he said. “But I don’t really have anything (to announce). We haven’t got that far.”
Petersen reiterated Saturday that he likes the Huskies’ “traditional” purple and gold combination, and he hears from fans who want to keep that traditional look too.
“But we’ll have a little wrinkle. Still working on it,” he said.
Lenius making progress
With All-American John Ross III off to the NFL, the Huskies will need another playmaker out wide. Brayden Lenius, a 6-5, 234-pound junior, could be an option again this fall.
“He’s one of those guys where spring’s been good,” Petersen said. “(He) was healthy for the spring. Last spring he was not. And he was going through a rough patch. I think he made some progress this spring, which is good to see. Guy has some really good ability.”
Lenius was a part-time starter as a sophomore in 2015, posting 26 catches for 305 yards and three touchdowns. But he was suspended for the first three games of 2016 and wound up redshirting the rest of the season.