Texas Longhorns junior defensive tackle Byron Murphy is declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft, he told ESPN’s Pete Thamel, weeks after accepting an invitation to participate in the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl, one of the premier college football all-star games.
Texas star defensive lineman Byron Murphy II tells ESPN that he’s leaving school for the NFL Draft. Murphy earned first-team All-Big 12 honors this year and led the country in quarterback pressures per snap by an interior lineman. pic.twitter.com/6ebGM5DSho— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 4, 2024
OFFICIAL! DL Byron Murphy II @ByronMurphyII from @TexasFootball has accepted his invitation to the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl! #ThisIsTexas #HookEm #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ @JimNagy_SB @PaniniAmerica #RatedRookie pic.twitter.com/4vqLi8NWs5— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) November 26, 2023
The decision by the 6’1, 308-pounder to accept the Senior Bowl invite came after the NFL informed its clubs that underclassmen granted eligibility for the draft can participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl, HBCU Legacy Bowl, and the Senior Bowl.
Murphy graduated in December after receiving recognition before the win over Texas Tech during Senior Night ceremonies, so accepting his invite to the Senior Bowl effectively served as a declaration for the NFL Draft, which now happened officially after Texas finished its season with the loss to Washington in the Sugar Bowl on Monday.
A consensus four-star prospect out of DeSoto in the 2021 recruiting class for the Longhorns, Murphy was a relatively late addition, decommitting from Baylor after receiving an offer from the previous Texas coaching staff in mid-November and committing to the Horns on the same day.
Murphy showed promise as a freshman with 15 tackles (10 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks in 12 games with one start and totaled 26 tackles (nine solo), three tackles for loss, one sack, and two quarterback hurries in 13 games with one start as a sophomore before breaking out with a big-time junior season — 29 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, seven quarterback hurries, and a touchdown catch and touchdown run on offense.
Along with senior defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat, Murphy is one of the highest-graded interior defensive linemen in the country, according to Pro Football Focus. The standout season from Murphy earned him Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year honors.
Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy declared for the draft on Tuesday, while running back Jonathon Brooks is expected to join Worthy and Murphy in doing so himself.