Running back recruit Tirek Murphy received full disclosure of Notre Dame's plans

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

Tirek Murphy made his first visit to Notre Dame’s campus over the weekend. The 2020 running back recruit learned just about everything he needed to know.

The Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King product received full disclosure about the inner workings of the Irish football team. ND’s new running backs coach, Lance Taylor, played a major role in that transparency. ND’s current and former players spending time with Murphy also helped.

Murphy’s visit did not just consist of the ordinary campus tour intertwined with football and academic meetings. Murphy first observed ND’s Saturday spring practice. That’s where he met and spoke with former Irish running backs Dexter Williams and Josh Adams.

Murphy and his mother, Keiko, then joined offensive coordinator Chip Long, running back Jahmir Smith, receiver Joe Wilkins Jr. and Taylor to eat at Brothers Bar & Grill near campus. On the Sunday morning before returning to New York, Murphy dissected film with Taylor.

“I felt like when you hear of Notre Dame, you think of strict, church, business,” Murphy said. “But it’s more like family. It’s real family. Everybody is really genuine. Everybody was just laughing, talking.

“I just felt like I was a part of the team already. They didn’t treat me like I was just a recruit. They treated me like I was on the team. I never got a chance to chill with players like that at other schools.”

Taylor provided all the details, telling Murphy he’s looking to sign two running backs for ND’s 2020 recruiting class. In their previous cycle, the Irish signed one in early enrolled freshman Kyren Williams. The Irish are looking to ink running backs with different skill sets — one with speed and another with power.

“He said that I’m a big priority for them and that he really wants me,” Murphy said.

The Irish envision the 6-foot, 220-pounder serving as a nice complement to Chris Tyree, a 5-9, 171-pound speedster. That’s why the Irish brought in both recruits on the same weekend. It allowed Murphy and Tyree to get to know each other, and they even played basketball together during the visit.

Tyree told Murphy that ND, Oklahoma and Alabama are the major players in his recruitment. Murphy offered that he will soon release a top 10 list and intends to take an ND official visit for a game this fall.

“I think he’s really interested,” Murphy said of Tyree. “He said he loves Notre Dame.”

Both are likely far from a public decision, though. Tyree plans to take an official visit for Oklahoma’s April 13 spring game. ND is in line to host Tyree for a June 21-23 official visit. Murphy won’t make a decision until after he takes his five visits, he said. A couple of those trips should come during the 2019 season.

The Irish are willing to be patient. The four-star Tyree ranks higher than any running back on ND’s recruiting board. As the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose back, Tyree comes in as the No. 48 and No. 60 overall player on 247Sports and Rivals, respectively. The four-star Murphy ranks as the No. 20 and No. 22 running back on Rivals and 247Sports, respectively. The latter recruiting site slates Murphy as its No. 265 overall player.

Tyree’s relationship with Long explains his strong interest in the Irish. Murphy’s enthusiasm began with Taylor’s honesty. Taylor reached out to him one week on the job, Murphy said, and has since been transparent.

“He said that he’s looking for a house to buy out here, and he said he’s never done that before,” Murphy said. “That’s big. That must mean Notre Dame is really important to him. He said his son (Jett) was like, ‘Oh, my dad is a coach at Notre Dame forever now.’”

Murphy attended ND’s 36-3 waxing of Syracuse last Nov. 17 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, N.Y. He earned an Irish offer on Feb. 4 — one week before Taylor’s hiring was made official.

Since garnering the offer, Murphy has learned more about ND’s academics and projected role for him in its offense. Becoming immersed with the Irish players over the weekend, as well as Taylor’s solid first impression, also caught Murphy’s attention.

“You hear about Notre Dame, and people tell you it’s legendary,” Murphy said. “But when you see it with your own eyes, it’s crazy. Unexplainable.”

Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King’s Tirek Murphy, a 2020 running back, dons an Irish uniform during his March 23 recruiting visit.