Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Elkhorn South’s Ashton Murphy Gains Offer From Nebraska

February 02, 2023

Elkhorn South junior Ashton Murphy went to the Warren Academy Showcase last month to prove he belongs in Division I football.

He’s a football guy who grew up in the program that sent a multitude of players over to Lincoln. On Nebraska’s 2023 football roster alone, five Elkhorn South graduates occupy the roster. Most of them—Teddy Prochazka, Sam Hoskinson and Maverick Noonan—play on the line. Murphy went to work at the Omaha Sports Complex to prove he belonged among them.

Murphy measured at 6 foot 6 and 240 pounds at the showcase with a marked 75.2-inch wingspan and a 98-inch reach. His best burst 10-yard burst clocked in at 1.72 seconds. He clocked his pro at 4.73 with a 30.6-inch vertical. Even his 40 time, a modest 5.03, stood alone among linemen.

“That I’m fast and have quick feet,” Murphy told Hail Varsity that day. “That’s one of the main things I was strong at today.”

He played against linemen in the state who went Division I. Some, like Creighton Prep’s Sam Sledge and Lincoln Southeast’s Gunnar Gottula, went to Nebraska. Murphy believed he showed he could hold his own against those guys on film. He set out to prove a little more as his recruitment started to ramp up.

A coach from the University of Northern Iowa attended the rising starts showcase and offered Murphy shortly thereafter. Murphy even attended Northern Iowa’s Junior Day last month. Then came an offer from Colorado on January 29 after speaking with Buffs’ offensive line coach Bill O’Boyle. Two days later, Murphy called Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule during lunch and the head coach personally extend Murphy an offer to join the Huskers.

“Hearing Coach Rhule talk about the staff where you only have a certain amount of hours to spend with someone to make them bigger and stronger but you’ve got an unlimited amount of time to teach football,” Elkhorn South head coach Guy Rosenberg previously told Hail Varsity. “I think they really invest in player development. You’ve got guys who have great physical attributes but the guys that are coachable and listen are going to maximize those attributes.”

Murphy became the seventh known Nebraskan in the 2024 recruiting class to get an offer from Nebraska. The others are Bellevue West trio Danny Kaelin, Dae’vonn Hall and Isaiah McMorris, Omaha Westside athlete Caleb Benning, Omaha Central lineman Caleb Pyfrom and Ainsworth tight end Carter Nelson. Rhule said on Wednesday the staff will look at its current roster now while turning recruiting attention to future recruiting classes. Coaches will likely host a Junior Day and camps in the summer. May and June are typically the busiest months for those periods.

Recruit Watch

The vast majority of Nebraska’s 2024 offers and beyond since Rhule took over come from Texas. Between Rhule and the previous coaching staff, Nebraska’s extended scholarship offers to 50 recruits in Texas. That by far outpaced Georgia as the state with the second-most offers (30).

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Managing Editor Greg Tepper shared his expertise with Hail Varsity this week. Tepper said Nebraska needed to secure recruits from the Dallas-Fort Worth area in order to make significant gains. Husker coaches were all over Texas in January, including Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Of the 50 offered from Texas in the 2024 class, 17 are in the immediate Dallas-Fort Worth area. That includes: 4-star quarterback Michael Hawkins (McKinney), 4-star athlete Bryan Jackson (McKinney), 4-star running back Caden Durham (Duncanville), 3-star running back Kewan Lacy (Lancaster), 4-star receiver Bryant Wesco (Midlothian), unrated offensive lineman Jordan Rowe (Dallas), 4-star defensive lineman Caleb Mitchell Irving (Dallas), 3-star defensive lineman Alex January (Duncanville), 5-star edge rusher Colin Simmons (Duncanville), 4-star edge Zina Umeozulu (Allen), 4-star linebacker Payton Pierce (Lucas), 4-star cornerback Xavier Filsaime (McKinney), 4-star cornerback Mario Buford (DeSoto), 4-star safety Corian Gipson (Lancaster), 4-star safety Ka’Davion Dotson (Duncanville), 4-star safety Aaron Flowers (Forney), 4-star safety Landyn Cleveland (Mansfield).


>> The injury-depleted Nebraska men’s basketball team hung with Illinois until the final stretch of their game earlier this week.

>> Amy Williams and the Nebraska women’s basketball team prepares for the season’s final month, starting with a clash against Michigan State.

>> Nebraska head football coach Matt Rhule offered some long-range vision for the program during his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday.

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