Titans Rookie Edge Rusher Caleb Murphy Working to Make a Name for Himself in the NFL


NASHVILLE – Caleb Murphy wasn't drafted, but the edge rusher arrived in the NFL after a decorated collegiate career which saw him post some pretty mind-boggling stats.

Murphy, who played at Ferris State, set the single-season sacks record for all NCAA divisions with 25.5 in 2022, one year after tallying 14.5 sacks at the school.

Murphy also led all divisions a year ago with 39 tackles for loss, which matched the all-time, single-season record at any NCAA level.

Yet with the Titans, where he signed as an undrafted free agent after the NFL Draft, Murphy is just another rookie trying to make a name for himself.

Case in point: After offseason practices, Murphy could oftentimes be seen carrying extra helmets and gear of his veteran teammates.

"You have to do rookie duties," Murphy said with a smile. "You have get them things they need in the meeting rooms, making sure we're on top of our jobs and they lead us the right way. Little things like that, carrying helmets, it's not a problem at all."

Murphy, who received interest from a number of teams leading up to the draft, said he's doing everything he can to stick out for teammates and coaches in Tennessee.

"I felt like Tennessee was a good spot for me – they work hard, and I think there's an opportunity for me here," Murphy said. "I have to do my part which is to work hard myself – Coach (Mike) Vrabel prides himself in working hard, so that is what I am going to do.

"It is definitely different coming in as a rookie, and you have to stay in the books."

A 6-foot-3, 254-pounder, Murphy looks the part in practices.

He's also done his part to put in extra work, and his teammates are noticing.

"I love Caleb," veteran Arden Key said. "He's a young guy who is willing to learn. He is always asking questions, coming up to me or Harold (Landry). He is a guy who is seeking knowledge. He is doing what coaches ask of him, and he is taking what he learned off the field and putting it to use on the field."

Titans outside linebackers coach Ryan Crow said Murphy just needs to keep working.

"Like all rookies, the first thing is he has to learn what to do, and be able to do it at a high level, and execute at a high level," Crow said. "I think for Caleb, special teams is important as well – find a way to get on special teams and continue to earn more roles as we continue to develop.

"The thing I love about Caleb is he came from a place where they won two national championships, and regardless of the level that's an awesome thing to have is a winning background. I am excited that he is here, and I'm excited to see him grow."

Murphy said he's working daily to improve his technique so he can add to his craft, and ability.

Murphy, who transferred to Ferris State from Grand Valley State, was an All-America performer in college. Nearly half of Murphy's tackles last season were for negative yards as Ferris State dominated their opponents on the way to their second consecutive NCAA Division II championship.

Murphy said it's too early to even start thinking about what he needs to do to stick on the team's active roster for the 2023 season.

Right now, he focused on one thing.

"For me, myself, I just have to work hard, and worry about myself, and do what I can to help the team," Murphy said. "I've been watching the veterans – Harold Landry, Arden Key, Rashad Weaver, Sam (Okuayinonu), too. Watching those guys work, I'm hoping that makes me better and helps me craft myself into what I need to be to be a Titan.

"I just have to push myself as hard as I can."

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