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Diamond in the Rough: Murphy Clement | Gridiron Football
January 30, 2023

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Diamond in the Rough: Murphy Clement

Photo given to me by Murphy Clement.

Murphy Clement is a class of 2024 quarterback out of Martinsburg High in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Standing at 5’10” and weighing 175 pounds with a 3.9 GPA, the junior benches a 260 and squats a 350. Clement is known on his team as the dual-threat kind of guy, with the ability to take the ball out of the backfield through his own hand or through his feet. Earlier this week, I had the great ability to speak with Murphy.

Q: Why do you play the game?
“It brings excitement to my life. I’ve been playing football since I was in fourth grade, and I quit soccer to play it. My older brother was playing [football], and I saw him and realized that is what I wanted to do. Ever since then, I’ve had a different type of love for [football] then the other sports I play.”

Q: Where do you see football going in your life?
“I see it taking me places I’ve been dreaming of, like Michigan. Michigan is my dream school. Football brought me there for camp, and just that experience was great. Being able to go to all the different colleges for visits and camps… all of that is just great to be able to do that.”

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing football?
“Sometimes there is going to be adversity, and you can’t let it keep you down. You’ve gotta keep fighting through it. You’ve gotta learn how to be able to fight with adversity, and know that if one man goes down, you have to keep going and keep rebuilding. You can’t stress the stuff you can’t control.”

Q: What does football mean to you?
“It means a lot of things [to me]. It gives me a chance to communicate with my boys, have fun with them, all while playing the thing I love in football. All of that together makes it a great experience all around. And then being able to travel to different places for different games – like when we went up to Riversaw last year, that was very fun. All of that just makes me appreciate it so much more.”

Q: What challenges have you overcome?
“Last year I suffered a Linsfranc injury, and it took me out for the rest of last season after the second playoff game. Having that happen and having to see my team go on to win the state championship without me was a little sad [for me]. But, I know I have this year and next year to finish what I started, and that gave me a chip on my shoulder and fight a little harder this year.”

Q: What motivates you to keep playing?
“My dad. Ever since I told him I wanted to play college football, he has been pushing [me and my brother] ever since. He always tells us, ‘all you have to do is tell me you don’t want to do it.’ He’s been doing everything possible that he can do to help me and my brother out. I’m very appreciative of him.”

Q: How do you balance sports with your other responsibilities?
“You wanna try and stay on schedule. [You gotta] make time for everything, so I don’t end up just last minute trying to stuff everything into one thing.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?
“Probably [last year] when we beat Highland Springs by one point. Going into that game, everyone was thinking that we would lose, get blown out. And then we turned a lot of heads that game, coming out and showing them what Martinsburg football is all about.”

Q: How do you stay trained and in football-shape during the offseason?
“I usually work out with [my brother] a lot. When he’s not there, I have another older brother… Whenever he’s out there, I just work out there with him. Whenever [either of them] are going out to a field, I’m right there with them, doing anything to keep them (and myself) in football shape.”

Q: How are you looking to improve your game?
“I’m looking to improve in the passing aspect of playing QB, because I can run a lot right now. But my main focus is building my arm strength and my football IQ. I need to see more reads, I need to see the little things like that.”

Q: On the other side, what is the strongest aspect of your game?
“I am capable of running a lot, but I like to surprise people with my ability to pass. People assume that when I come in, I’m automatically going to run the ball. I like making teams worry about [my] passing and running, instead of one or the other.”

Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself?
“This year, my main goal is to have a 4.0 GPA, winning the state chamoionship this year, and then getting a scholarship to Michigan University. That’s been my main goal for the past couple of years.”

Q: Do you try to model your game after any players, pro or collegiate?
“Sometimes, I like how Taysom Hill can do sort of everything. It reminds me of me. But also Christian McCaffery, when he was at Stamford. He made me fall in love with running, and how you don’t need to be huge to score touchdowns or run all over the field. And when I was growing up, a lot of people would call me ‘Little Lamar Jackson.’ Just hearing all of that made me like doing all the rushing too, because of him.”

Q: What is your favorite part of playing quarterback/the “do-it-all” Taysom Hill type?
“Probably [the fact that] the team has to prepare and take time out of their practice to prepare for me passing and prepare for me running too. It causes extra time for them to waste in practice in the week they have to get ready for two quarterbacks instead of one. They have to worry about guarding a passing quarterback and a running quarterback.”

Q: Do you consider football to be more physically challenging, mentally challenging, or a bit of both?
“Probably both, because in the camp part of football, where it’s two days of everything, the physical aspect is the conditioning; The mental is being able to wake up every day and be at the football field for 6-8 hours. You have to have a strong mental ability to wake up every day and be able to do that.”

You can watch his highlights here.

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