Redshirt freshmen defensive ends Gabriel Murphy and Grayson Murphy sat out in their first years at North Texas, but both of them quickly earned a starting spot in 2020. Since then, the Murphy twins have continued to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks as they have evolved as people and as players.
“Being able to come up here as a freshman and seeing the development on and off the field together has been big,” Gabriel said.
Both Grayson and Gabriel had other offers from the Air Force, The University of Connecticut, the Navy, Texas State University and Tulane University. However, Gabriel and Grayson chose to go to UNT and play football together so they could continue to stick close by each other.
“We had offers from a lot of schools but they did not want us together,” Grayson said. “But [North Texas] was one of the places that did and it was close to home,”
The Murphy’s competitiveness with each other has been key in their development. They say that having someone to compete with constantly is what has pushed them to reach their current skill level.
“We workout together back at home in Dallas and we’re always competing in everything we do so I think that’s what helps us the most,” Grayson said.
The brothers’ close connection on the football field was developed from the way they spend time together off of it. Grayson believes that the time they spend together gives them a special relationship that leads to success during games.
“We’re very close off the field, just like having a best friend 24/7,” Grayson said. “The chemistry carries over to the field and we just dominate together.”
Grayson and Gabriel have faith in the others’ abilities and have mutual trust with each other in order to hold one another accountable on every single play.
“Being able to trust each other with him being on one side and me being on the other side, I know he’s going to hold it down on his side and I’ll hold it down on my side,” Gabriel said.“To have trust helps a lot on the field.”
While the twins have only been at North Texas for three years, they already have created memories that they will not soon forget.
“Coming in that Rice game and dancing together on the field is a big memory,” Gabriel said. “Playing our first college game together, and getting our first sacks together was really big.”
The game Gabriel is referring to was in last year’s contest with Rice University. Gabriel had six tackles with three being solo and two sacks – all career-highs in his first career start. On the other hand, Grayson had a career-high six tackles with four solo, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pair of quarterback hurries in the win. Their success is what led to the team penning them as the ‘smash brothers.’
“It started off as Cavemen and we wore the neck collars, then [the team] came up with the ‘smash brothers’ and it stuck,” Gabriel said.
Football teams often spend a lot of time together due to the experiences they have in practices and in games. However, the twins share a different kind of bond that cannot be replicated with teammates.
“It’s different when you see your brother or your twin on the other side with you, that’s special,” senior linebacker Tyreke Davis said. “For them to be doing this together, I feel like that ignites them to go even harder.”
Grayson and Gabriel both have a few more years of eligibility left and while a professional career is not out of their minds yet, they have ideas of what alternate career they may pursue beyond football.
“[Gabreil and I] want to become Chiropractors and work together,” Gabriel said. “[The NFL] is in the back of your head at all times but it’s a lot of work to get to that level.”
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