PHOENIX, Arizona, October 18. RYAN Murphy, one of the most sought-after male recruits this year, made his college decision today, electing to travel across the country to swim for Dave Durden and the California Golden Bears next fall.
“I chose Cal because I believe it's the best place for me to pursue my Olympic dreams,” Murphy told Swimming World today. “Coach Durden is so detailed in his approach and I really appreciate his leadership skills. He develops the whole person. The team at Cal consists of athletes that all share my goals. We will push each other each day and motivate each other to be the best we can be in and out of the pool.”
Though Murphy is more notable for his backstroke performances in long course meters, having placed sixth and fourth in the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the Olympic Trials, he has great potential in short course yards. His time of 46.72 from the 2011 junior nationals would have placed him in the A final of last March's NCAA championships, while his best time of 1:40.90 in the 200 backstroke from 2011 would have gotten third last March, about a second off the time Cory Chitwood swam to get the title.
Murphy is also a respectable sprint freestyler, recently helping the Bolles School set two national high school records in the freestyle relays last week. Murphy posted leadoff times of 20.24 and 44.52 in both events. In three weeks, Murphy is likely to post more impressive times at the Florida high school championships in an attempt to help Bolles in their quest to hold on to the Swimming World Magazine boys' team title they barely won over New Trier this year.
The Bears are doing well this recruiting season, aiming to attract a well-rounded freshman class. Distance ace Janardan Burns also committed to moving to Berkeley next year.
Murphy's verbal commitment today is just the start of what is to be a wave of announcements from the top five male recruits in the CollegeSwimming.com rankings. Jack Conger is tied as the top-ranked male recruit this year with Murphy.