THE URI RAMS TAKE ON JAMES MADISON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23 AT 12PM ON YURVIEW, COX CHANNEL 4 IN RHODE ISLAND
On the football field, Kyle Murphy knows he must be aware of his surroundings at all times. Such is the mission of an offensive left tackle who’s tasked with keeping his quarterback upright and opening up gaping holes for running backs.
The more you get to know Murphy, the more you come to understand that the 2019 URI senior football captain is just as aware of what goes on away from the field.
Long before he came to Kingston in the fall of 2016, Murphy earned high marks as a positive force for the Attleboro community he calls home. Specifically, Murphy regularly volunteered with Special Olympics. Prior to becoming known as one of the top offensive linemen in the Colonial Athletic Association, the 6-foot-4, 302-pound Murphy was driven to help put smiles on the faces of individuals who, like him, take pride in their athletic prowess.
“Whatever event at the meet was open, I would just help out,” said Murphy. “In many ways, you’re an inspiration to the athletes when you interact with them. It just makes them feel important.
“It also gives you a different perspective where you’re in their shoes. Just giving them the opportunity to experience what everyone else does is really satisfying,” Murphy delved further. “It’s inspiring.”
What inspired Murphy to volunteer his time to a such worthwhile cause where making a difference, whether big or small, has a ripple effect? His mother Linda works for Wrentham (Mass.) Developmental Center, a medical facility for adults with special needs.
“She’s always giving back and I wanted to give back, too,” said Murphy. “Just seeing how much she cares for her clients … she puts their priorities first, which is how I got the idea to help out in the first place.”
Murphy knows how much time and effort he puts into preparing for the upcoming URI game. It’s no different with the Special Olympics athletes when their game-day arrives.
“They have goals that they set for themselves. It’s nice to be able to help them through something that I go through, too,” said Murphy. “I get to do what I love, but seeing them get to do what they love, it really puts into perspective how fortunate I am. Just seeing the pure joy on their faces through helping them out … it’s about making them feel that they’re no different from anyone else.”
Assisting with Special Olympics is something that a young person like Murphy can proudly put on his résumé. It’s about showing a different side of an individual who’s gained most of his attention through football.
“I always talked about Special Olympics, but I also refereed recreation sports for little kids,” he said. “It’s always a good reference point because you’re not just doing it for yourself. You’re doing it for the community.”
Looking ahead post-URI, Murphy harbors serious hopes of making the leap from college to the pros. His hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Earlier this week, Murphy accepted his invitation to play in the 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, known as a postseason all-star game for draft-eligible college players.
Murphy will have the chance to display his skill set for NFL coaches and scouts, while becoming well-versed with the various demands that go with playing at the highest possible level. The actual all-star game is scheduled for January 20 at California’s Rose Bowl Stadium.
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction and one I’ve been working towards since high school and continued throughout college,” said Murphy, who to date with the Rams has started 34 of 41 possible games in his career.
“It’s nice to see my goals and dreams come true, but it’s just the beginning. Once I get out to California, I have to prove myself. I’m just excited to show that I belong with guys who play at a higher Division I level.”
Along those lines, Murphy appears adamant about making time to volunteer once his football days are officially in the rear-view mirror. Hopefully for his sake, that won’t be the case any time soon.
“I can definitely picture myself being a mentor or helping out with special needs kids or adults in the future,” said Murphy. “It’s about accomplishing something by helping someone else out.”
2019 YurView URI Football Broadcast Schedule:
- Sept. 7 – Delaware, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 – Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 26 – Elon, 1 p.m.
- Nov. 2 – Merrimack, 1 p.m.
- Nov. 23 – James Madison, 12 p.m.