From Sabercat to Cardinal: CB Byron Murphy destined to wear red No. 7

Sep 29, 2021, 2:43 PM
Byron Murphy being honored as Cardinals High School Player of the Year alongside owner Michael Bidw...
Byron Murphy being honored as Cardinals High School Player of the Year alongside owner Michael Bidwill in 2015. (Twitter Photo/@CardsMarkD)
(Twitter Photo/@CardsMarkD)

TEMPE — Before he ever knew he would don a Cardinals jersey, or make it to the NFL for that matter, cornerback Byron Murphy was already on the team’s radar.

Being a standout athlete in the team’s backyard will have that effect.

Murphy’s play was another level during his senior year at Saguaro High School, so much so that he was named Cardinals High School Player of the Year. He was honored with a No. 7 Cardinals jersey from none other than owner Michael Bidwill during an Arizona game back in 2015.

Now, five years later, Murphy is being recognized for his efforts at the NFL level wearing that same red No. 7, taking home NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors thanks to a two-interception performance in the Cardinals’ 31-19 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3.

It’s the first time in franchise history that a player has won both the Cardinals’ yearly high school and NFC Player of the Week honors.

“The first thing I remember was when he gave me the jersey at halftime of the Cardinals game, he gave me a No. 7 jersey,” Murphy said after practice Wednesday. “I still have it to this day.

“I was like, ‘Man, if I ever get drafted to the Cardinals, I wanna wear No. 7. It’s crazy how everything happened like that.”

It’s even more special to do it alongside former high school teammate and Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, who made his way to the Cardinals a year before Murphy.

“It’s something that I never take for granted,” Kirk said Tuesday, “I’m so happy and so proud of Byron and seeing how far he’s come. I remember the first day he showed up at Saguaro. [Head coach] Jason Mohns brought him to the weight room, brought him over to my rack that I was working out at and said, ‘This is your guy, this is your project for the next year. Wherever you go, whatever you do, he does. You make sure you don’t take an eye off of him.’

“That was my littler brother from that day on and just made sure to do everything that I could to help him along the way. He’s done that, if not more, on his own.”

The duo has come on strong this season, with Murphy the only defensive back in the league with five passes defensed (leads NFL) and two interceptions.

Meanwhile, Kirk is posting one of the top receiving grades handed out by Pro Football Focus (90.5) through three weeks of NFL action. The wideout only trails the Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams (90.7) in that category.

“To have C-Kirk with me, it’s a blessing because I went to high school with him,” Murphy said. “I transferred and that was someone who I looked up to like a big brother.

“When I got there at Saguaro my junior year, he’s someone that just brought me in and showed me the ropes of the program and all those little things on the football field, off the football field.”


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) intercepts a pass intended for Pittsburgh Steele...
Arizona Sports

PFF: Arizona Cardinals should target CB Charvarius Ward in free agency

Kansas City Chiefs CB Charvarius Ward is a name the Cardinals should consider looking at in free agency, according to one PFF analyst.
15 hours ago
Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates during the first half of an NFL wild-ca...
Wills Rice

Report: Rams’ Aaron Donald fined for run-in with Cardinals’ D.J. Humphries

Report: Rams DT Aaron Donald has been fined $10,815 for his incident with Cardinals OT D.J. Humphries in Monday's Wild Card loss.
15 hours ago
Iowa offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum (65) looks to make a block during the first half of an NCAA...
Alex Weiner

Cardinals select Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum in latest PFF mock draft

Pro Football Focus had the Arizona Cardinals selecting Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in its first mock draft since Arizona's season ended.
15 hours ago
Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Arizona Cardinals leads teammates onto the field before the NFL game agai...
Alex Weiner

Arizona Cardinals positions of need: Offensive line breakdown

Right guard Max Garcia is the only Arizona Cardinals starting offensive linemen who is an upcoming free agent.
3 days ago
Linebacker Karlos Dansby #58 of the Arizona Cardinals claps in the second half against the St. Loui...
Arizona Sports

Former Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby: Moment was too big for them

Former Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby said Arizona was not able to slow the game down when it started to slip in Monday's playoff loss. 
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) and Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker J...
Wills Rice

Arizona Cardinals positions of need: A look at linebacker

The Cardinals have used their last two first round draft selections on linebackers, yet the position still seems to be one of need.
3 days ago
From Sabercat to Cardinal: CB Byron Murphy destined to wear red No. 7