BELTON — Justin Murphy felt like his window was closing.
With a close eye on the college recruiting circuit for much of spring, the 6-foot-7, 275-pound rising senior tackle from Belton didn’t want to risk losing out on what he felt was a kismet opportunity at Texas Tech.
Murphy verbally committed to the Red Raiders on Monday, calling co-offensive coordinator Eric Morris before being handed off to first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury to make his official pledge.
“I felt that Texas Tech was having a great recruiting season and the spots for my position were actually filling up, so I felt there was a need to commit early and I felt so secure with (Tech) that why wait,” Murphy said. “They had two o-line commits and I felt there was a third one on the way, so I felt like I had to jump in there just to secure a spot.”
Murphy becomes the 13th commit in Tech’s 2014 class, which also includes offensive lineman Deionte Noel of Cibolo Steele and Mildren Montgomery of Douglass. Murphy is rated as a two-start prospect by Rivals.com, which broke the commitment.
“It’s great to get it out of the way, I mean recruiting might be a good (thing) but it definitely is a hassle,” Murphy said.
Murphy chose Tech over seven other Division I offers, including from Houston, Rice, North Texas and SMU. His older brother, James Murphy, a 6-3, 230-pound defensive lineman at Belton this past season, will attend Tech as a student next season.
Murphy said having his brother already on campus was a “bonus” but indicated it didn’t play a determining factor in his decision.
“I jut had to weigh out all my options, all the offers, and I felt this was a good a day as any to really make a commitment,” Murphy said.
Murphy is the fifth Belton player in the last three years to commit to a Division I program, joining quarterback David Ash (Texas), receiver Adrian Henderson (Belton), tight end Durham Smythe (Notre Dame) and defensive back Kyle Battle (Navy).
But unlike Smythe, who originally committed to Texas in March of last year before flipping to Notre Dame in January, Murphy isn’t worried about changing his mind down the road.
“I’m not going to do that at all, I love my choice, I love where I decided, so those factors that Durham dealt with (regarding being pressured) won’t come into play with me,” Murphy said.
Murphy plans to visit the Lubbock campus Monday to meet with the entire Red Raiders coaching staff and several of his fellow recruits.
“The new coaching staff is young, I think they’re extremely ambitious, I like that about (them), and I think I can really fit well into what they’re trying to do and what their program is (about),” Murphy said.
With a new excitement permeating the entire Texas Tech program, Murphy believes his experiences within Belton’s pass-heavy offense the last several years will translate well when he gets to Lubbock in 2014.
“With Texas Tech being the second-rated passing offense in the nation, I really felt that was a great place for me — a great fit,” Murphy said.