Ryan Murphy Chooses the Champs

  27 Braden Keith | October 18th, 2012 | College, College Recruiting, Featured, News

Standout senior Ryan Murphy from the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida has made his college decision: and it comes as no surprise that he has decided on Dave Durden’s defending champions from Cal.

Murphy is best known for his exploits as a backstroker, where he is the holder of 8 out of a possible 18 National Age Group Records in backstroke (he only just recently turned 17, meaning he hasn’t gotten a fair crack at the 17-18 records yet). Last summer, he really impressed by finishing 4th at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 backstroker, cracking another one of Aaron Peirsol’s all-time bests.

“I am very relieved that my decision is made,” Murphy said. “I took five recruiting trips, which were all incredible experiences, but exhausting.  In the end, after careful reflection on what is the most important to me, I chose Cal Berkeley.  I believe that the coaches and athletes at Cal will provide me with the most competitive training environment.   The coaches are amazing and the team shares my goals of being an Olympian.

“I am so grateful for the positive relationships I formed through this process.  The coaches and athletes that I got to know are special individuals!”

But what’s really underrated is how well-rounded of a swimmer he is, with three other National Age Group Records to his credit.

We’ll start with his backstroke times, though. In yards, he’s been 46.72 and 1:40.90. For reference, that time in the 200 backstroke would have placed him 3rd at last year’s NCAA Championships already; he and Stanford’s David Nolan should have some great battles over the next two years.

But beyond that, he brings so much more to this Cal team. He’s a 20.02 in the 50 free and a 44.15 in the 100: close to the best in the class. He’s a 1:36.34 in the 200 free. He’s “only” a 48.16 in the 100 fly, from a post-Trials time-trial event at Bolles, and he’s a 1:45.77 in the 200 IM. Alongside his fellow 1 and 1a recruit in the class of 2013 Jack Conger, Murphy is one of those recruits who can really take a team to new heights.

The scary thing is that Cal is already at the eptiome of the sport, having turned out the last two NCAA Championship teams. They already have one very good backstroker for Murphy to train with in 2012-2013 freshman Jacob Pebley, plus at least a year of Marcin Tarczynski and Auburn transfer Tony Cox. A sleeper in this group is sophomore Jeremie DeZwierk, a transfer from Columbia who was the Ivy League Champion in the 200 back last year.

Suddenly, in just two recruiting classes plus some transfers, the backstrokes have gone from a weakness for Cal to a big strength.

With Tom Shields graduating, Murphy will immediately have the opportunity to fit into that “do-everything” role for this team that Shields took on very early in his career. We rated him as our #2 recruit in the class, though just barely.

As they say, the rich get richer. All eyes now turn to Conger and where he’ll end up.

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27 Comments on "Ryan Murphy Chooses the Champs"

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4 years 9 days ago

Awesome news for the Bears and for Murphy! Welcome to Berkeley!

Patrick M
4 years 9 days ago

Congrats little bro! Can’t wait to see you swim for the Bears!

4 years 9 days ago

Congratulations Ryan!!! Very proud of you! Go Bears!

4 years 9 days ago

Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley on the same team is going to be crazy! 1-2 finish coming up soon at NCAA’s.

4 years 9 days ago

Very excited for Ryan to be a BEAR!

Jim Corbeau
4 years 9 days ago


4 years 9 days ago

Congrats Ryan! Good luck next year!

4 years 9 days ago

Great get by Durden and the Golden Bears. Best of luck to Ryan in the pool, classroom, and community. Hopefully Cal will allow you to maximize your potential in all areas. Roll on!

4 years 9 days ago

Great choice and very exciting for the PAC 12….I wonder if this means Conger is going elsewhere?

4 years 9 days ago

Conger should go to Florida. Troy develops well-rounded swimmers who can have success in multiple events at the international level.

4 years 9 days ago

Gonna b a little crowded….there’s a limit to how many you can bring to the all- important NCAAs.

4 years 9 days ago

With Metz gone and 4 NCAA team seniors graduating, I think they have room.

4 years 9 days ago

There is room like REID said….5 spots this year with the graduating seniors and with Metz not swimming. Next year there will be 4 spots open. Just need to bring in enough that graduate each year!

4 years 9 days ago

I see conger at florida, but if he were to also attend cal, he along with pebley and Murphy would be an unstoppable threesome

4 years 9 days ago

Can’t wait to see what this kid does in the build up to Rio!

4 years 9 days ago

I say Conger to TX

4 years 9 days ago

hypocritical recruits

4 years 9 days ago

what do you mean by hypocritical?

4 years 8 days ago

Not sure what you mean by that one

4 years 9 days ago

Congrats to my nephew Ryan Murphy. Well done!!!!!!

4 years 9 days ago


Congrats on your decision to attend Cal. Great school and terrific swim program.

I look forward to watching you represent your country in Rio.

bobo gigi
4 years 9 days ago

It’s a massive pick for Cal. And yes backstroke trainings with Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley will be very interesting. It will be incredibly a good thing for them to train together.
On an international perspective, we know he’ll dominate very quickly backstroke but do you think he can also become an all-around swimmer like another famous floridian swimmer?
I can’t wait to see his improvements next year.

4 years 8 days ago

Congratulations to Ryan! These are hard and important decisions for young athletes….but if they believe in their decisions they are most likely to be happier and more successful! Here’s to a great future for Ryan Murphy!!!! We will certainly miss him being here in Florida.

4 years 7 days ago

So proud of Ryan! I’ll miss him


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Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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