Friendly defensive back Alameen Murphy signed his national letter of intent to play for Stanford. Friendly defensive back Alameen Murphy signed his national letter of intent to play for Stanford.

Believe it or not — and given that he is 5-10, 180 pounds, “not” is probably more likely — Friendly cornerback Alameen Murphy came into high school as an offensive lineman. Not necessarily lineman big, but just bigger than most kids in his age group in middle school, Murphy had played most of his football in the trenches, a world away from the free-for-all of open space in the defensive backfield.

So when he moved to defensive back and wide receiver during his freshman season, the transition wasn’t smooth.

“I wasn’t very good at all,” Murphy recalled with a laugh Wednesday.

But after a year or so of hard work with Friendly’s head coach Peter Quaeway, a defensive back specialist, Murphy got a lot better. By his junior year he was a highly coveted recruit, earning offers from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and Wake Forest, among others. Wednesday, Murphy made his choice official, signing a National Letter of Intent to play for Stanford at a ceremony at Friendly High School.

“It feels great,” said Murphy, who sent his NLI to Palo Alto Wednesday morning. “All of the stress of the recruiting process is finally over and I know where my home is.”

Murphy, who is third in his high school class and a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.9 GPA, adds D.C. area flavor to a Cardinal defensive backfield that’s already got plenty: Alex Carter, a Briar Woods product, will be a junior cornerback next season and hosted Murphy on his official visit last month. Starting quarterback Kevin Hogan (Gonzaga) and fellow quarterback Ryan Burns (Stone Bridge) also hail from the D.C. area.

Murphy was a 2013 first-team All-State selection and chosen for the 2013 Chesapeake Bowl. He was also a first-team All County defensive back and invited to the 2013-14 World Bowl.

But now, with his high school resume largely completed, the recruiting process over and his decision official, the prospective engineering major said he’s now focused on being ready for the next step in his academic and football career.

“I just want to get my mental state right, getting mentally prepared,” Murphy said. “That’s the most important thing for me. If you’re mentally ready — especially as a football player — the sky’s the limit.”