It’s been a busy couple fo weeks for the Houston Cougars with roster changes. In addition to previous redshirt decisions during the regular season, one transfer offensive lineman is no longer a part of the program. According to The Houston Chronicle, Justin Murphy has left the program.
Murphy transferred to Houston in July after being granted a waiver for immediate eligibility after his departure from UCLA. This season marked the final year of Murphy’s eligibility, so his college football career is now done. Last December, Murphy was given a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. The NCAA agreed to giving Murphy an extra year of eligibility due to an ACL injury that cost Murphy playing time during his stint with Texas Tech, prior to his time with the Bruins.
Murphy tweeted on his Twitter account on Sept. 25 he was a part of the Houston football program. For what it is worth, Murphy does appear on the official Houston roster sheet in the game notes for this weekend’s game against Cincinnati. Although, he has been removed from the team’s roster posted on the team’s official website.
The reason for his departure from the Cougars is unknown
The Houston Cougars have been active on the transfer market this offseason. The latest additions to the program by way of transfers will add tow players from power-conference programs to the offensive line. Former Texas Tech and UCLA offensive guard Justin Murphy and former Texas Tech offensive guard Gio Pancotti have each announced they are heading to the Houston program for the 2019 season.
Pancotti will join the Cougars with two years of eligibility remaining. He will be able to jump right into the mix on the Houston offensive line as a graduate transfer, providing some instant depth on the line for the Cougars.
Murphy will also be a graduate transfer, allowing him to be eligible right away. However, he only has one year remaining on his eligibility ticker. For Murphy, the opportunity to play closer to home where his mother is battling breast cancer was an easy one to accept.
“U of H also stood out to me because my mom has breast cancer and she’s getting treated at MD Anderson here in Houston, and for me to be able to come down and support her as well as continue my football career and my academic career, is really an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Murphy said to Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston.
Murphy was granted a sixth year of eligibility last December, and he announced his intent to transfer shortly after receiving that news. Murphy transferred to UCLA in 2018 after a brief retirement following an ACL injury at Texas Tech.
Texas Tech’s defense isn’t the only issue the Red Raiders are looking to overcome. The offensive line is taking another hit to the depth with news that offensive lineman Justin Murphy is retiring from football due to knee injury concerns. He is the fifth offensive lineman on scholarship to be lost for the year this season. Murphy announced his retirement with a statement on Twitter.
The decision to retire reportedly came off the advice of doctors who recommended a second surgery on his knee that will likely be one he would never fully recover from, or at least recover to be able to play football.
Texas Tech is now in a mad scramble to pad the depth on the offensive line by any means necessary. “We’re pretty much scouring the country,” Kliff Kingsbury said, referring to junior college transfer options that could jump right in during the 2017 season.