12/08/12 — Signal caller meets expectations

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Signal caller meets expectations

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 8, 2012 11:54 PM

For years the expectations of quarterbacks at Goldsboro High School largely centered around turning around and handing the ball off.

Julius Murphy changed that perception forever in two seasons as a starter. He finished his career with 3,356 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and went 20-6 as a starter. For his efforts, Murphy has been selected the 2012 News-Argus All-Area Offensive Player-of-the-Year.

A safety in middle school, Murphy was reluctant about the Cougars' coaching staff's decision to move him to quarterback as a freshman. Success as a freshman peaked Murphy's interest in the position and his experiences on Goldsboro's baseball team helped develop his arm strength.

Following the 2011 season, Goldsboro's coaching staff knew that graduation took a majority of the talent that had made its run-oriented offense a success. It left the Cougars in need of a change in philosophy.

Head coach Eric Reid brought former Wilson Beddingfield quarterback Bennett Johnson on as his offensive coordinator during the offseason and Johnson formed a bond with Murphy.

"I started with Coach Johnson by staying after practice with him and it was like school, he was just teaching me a lot of stuff," Murphy said. "At first I didn't understand it all and he would break it down for me in a way that made sense. We got on the same page and when we started going to passing leagues that is when we started clicking."

Murphy spent the entire summer learning the intricacies of Johnson's spread, pass-oriented offense while developing chemistry with his receivers. He also committed himself to the weight room in hopes of putting on weight and getting stronger.

The results were 2,103 yards passing, 29 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Murphy threw for 150 yards or more in eight of Goldsboro's 12 games and tossed three or more touchdown passes on six occasions.

"It has been a long time since we've had a kid of Julius' caliber at that position," Reid said. "I tell people a lot that we've had kids playing the position of quarterback, but this year we had a quarterback playing the position of quarterback. It made our offense so much more explosive.

"Julius did a wonderful job of buying into the new scheme of the offense and it prepares him for the next level."

With junior tailback Rasheid Malette and receivers Joseph Baker, James Clyde and Hunter McCoy keeping defenses honest, Murphy thrived while knowing he didn't have to win games with his arm. Baker led the area in receiving yards with 583 to go with five touchdowns. Malette added 1,146 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns.

The Cougars' offense averaged 37 points a game.

"I knew I had a lot of talent around me and I knew I just had to get the ball in their hands and let them make plays," Murphy said. "I knew I couldn't be selfish and worry about my numbers for us to be successful. That took a lot of pressure off me as a quarterback."