SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah tight end Jake Murphy announced Friday that he will forego his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Murphy played in eight games for the Utes in 2013, catching 25 passes for 417 yards (16.7 average) and five touchdowns.
"After a lot of heartfelt thought and consideration, I have decided to forego my senior year at the University of Utah and enter the NFL draft this spring," said Murphy. "This has been a really tough decision for me to make and one that I do not take lightly. In the end, I had to make the choice that was best for my family--my wife and my daughter. Although I will miss playing college football, I am very confident in my abilities and ready to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL.
"I am so grateful for the time I have spent here and the many people who have supported me both on and off the field. I am grateful to coach Whittingham and his staff for all they have done for me, as well as all of my teammates. I will watch their future success with much excitement and pride. No matter where life takes me, I will always feel privileged to be a part of this great Ute family."
The 24-year-old junior from Alpine (American Fork High) lettered three seasons for the Utes after redshirting in 2010. He was honorable mention all-Pac-12 as a sophomore and was named to the John Mackey preseason watch list entering his junior season.
After breaking his wrist against UCLA on Oct. 3, it was believed Murphy would miss the rest of the season, but he returned to play in the last three games. In his final two college games, he had five receptions for 102 yards vs. Washington State and eight catches for 93 yards against Colorado.
"We will miss Jake not only for his playing ability, but for his leadership," said coach Kyle Whittingham. "We respect the thought process he and his family put into this decision and wish him the best in his pursuit of an NFL career."