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2016 National Signing Day: Washington signee could also walk on to basketball team

Feb 3, 2016

Washington’s biggest football recruit could also give Lorenzo Romar some help on the hardwood.

ESPN 300 cornerback Byron Murphy, No. 16 in the nation at his position according to ESPN, signed with the Huskies Wednesday. Known for his high football IQ and supreme athleticism, Washington football coach Chris Petersen thinks he can be a threat on defense and offense. And why not? Murphy was named the Arizona Division II Player of the Year after a senior campaign in which he picked off seven passes, registered 52 tackles and caught 88 passes for 1,733 yards and 21 touchdowns at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

[Related: How to watch Inside Pac-12 Football: Signing Day Special]

But here are some other stats to consider for Murphy – 11.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game for his high school basketball team that is ranked 21st in the state according to MaxPreps. And, when making his  announcement Wednesday, Murphy said that Washington will let him walk on to the basketball team if he desires.

He wouldn’t be the first guy to play football and basketball at U-Dub – most recently, Austin Seferian-Jenkins played one season for Romar. However, it would be the first football-basketball guy under Petersen, who didn’t want to forecast Murphy’s potential future basketball career quite yet.

“I think a guy needs to come here and get adjusted to football, get adjusted to school,” Petersen said at his press conference. “You just want to feel like a guy could be successful and you’re not putting too much on his plate. And the one thing that they have to go through is come here and see how much is on their plate, and sometimes those aspirations change.”

While Petersen isn’t sure of his basketball career, he sounded very confident of his future football career on Montlake.

“That guy is very, very athletic. I haven’t studied him as a basketball player, but as a football player, there is no doubt in my mind that he could play either side of the ball with the same amount of success,” Petersen said.

(He also seems like an awesome dude. Check out this story from Richard Obert of The Arizona Republic on Murphy’s bond with his cousins who suffer from a rare form of dwarfism.)