Friendly rising senior Alameen Murphy had not met Stanford cornerback Alex Carter in person before visiting campus this week, but Wednesday, the former Briar Woods All-Met delivered the assurance Murphy needed to hear to be comfortable picking a school nearly 3,000 miles from his Fort Washington home.
Making his last planned college visit of the summer, Murphy expected to take his time to decide between offers from Stanford, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. Instead, the 5-foot-11, 182-pound cornerback offered an in-person oral commitment to Stanford Coach David Shaw at the end of Wednesday’s camp session.
Already sold on the Cardinal, Murphy made the pledge only after consulting with Carter, who showed up to watch the defensive backs work out at the end of the one-day camp. When asked, Carter, a rising sophomore, told Murphy that the perks of attending the Palo Alto, Calif., school outweighed the obvious drawback of leaving behind friends and family on the opposite coast.
“That’s all I needed to know,” Murphy said by phone from California on Thursday morning. “So I went to Coach Shaw and told him I wanted to commit.”
With a sturdy frame, a strong junior highlight tape and a 3.8 grade point average, Murphy attracted plenty of attention from recruiters, particularly those from schools with strong academic reputations.
Murphy landed an offer from North Carolina last summer, but his recruitment didn’t pick up in earnest until after last season. He registered 82 tackles with three interceptions and 26 passes defended in 2012, his first season at cornerback after moving from safety.
In February, Stanford became the second Bowl Championship Series school to offer and remained near the top of his growing list of suitors. He had accumulated 12 BCS offers, including one from Maryland where his sister currently attends.
Murphy stayed in close contact with Stanford assistant David Kotulski, even as he felt the pull from other schools. He had visited Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest in recent days and was particularly impressed by the Commodores.
Kotulski told Murphy that once he visited, the school would sell itself. This week, the cornerback figured out what that meant.
Murphy arrived in California for the first time on Monday with no designs on making a commitment so quickly. He toured the campus on Tuesday before participating in the camp.
By Wednesday night, he was enjoying a low-key celebratory dinner with his mother. He hopes to get back to campus for an official visit later this year.
“Everything was exactly what I wanted in a college,” Murphy said. “Good coaches that really care about you and good players that have the same mind-set as you. I feel like you can be successful in a place where everybody is on the same page.”
If Murphy makes his pledge official next February, it would mark the fourth straight year that the Cardinal have signed at least one local player. He would join Stone Bridge quarterback Ryan Burns (2013), Carter (2012) and Gonzaga quarterback Kevin Hogan (2011).