Q & A with NFL Kicker Cole Murphy


After getting his shot with the Arizona Cardinals, kicker Cole Murphy is looking to see what is next for his NFL career. Murphy was born in April 1996, in Burbank California, he would then attend at Valencia High School before signing with the University of Syracuse. He attended Syracuse as a walk-on. This would lead to him being Syracuses’s main guy with his time with the team. He got his chance to shine as the team’s place kicker, where he would overall shine at. 


Just as a freshman he was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, the most prestigious award for place kickers in college. He did something crazy as well during just his freshman year and that was to hit two, fifty yard field goals during the season. This great season lead for Murphy to be on scholarship for the rest of his time there. 


He had a great season as well in 2015, which would be his second year at the university. He was considered to be one of the top kickers in the ACC, and would make the Syracuse University Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. 


The next season would be much of the same, as a top kicker for Syracuse and the ACC, but this time he made the Syracuse University Athletic Director’s Honor Roll both semesters. 


His senior year is where he really made his impact and knew he was destined for the NFL. He was named as All-ECAC First Team, All-ACC Third Team, a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, and a Nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, an award given to the best player in the FBS who started out there collegiate career. He also broke the Syracuse record for most field goals made in a season.


He would decide that he would pursue a career in the NFL after his time with Syracuse. He would make the Arizona Cardinals team for training camp just this year, but would be announced of the team before the season would start. The rough go around that Murphy would have would not discourage him though, as he is only 23 years old and has a lot to prove.


Q: You’ve gotten to do something that kids dream of and that’s to get an NFL contract, what was it like when you got this great opportunity?


A: Getting my first NFL contract was something I will never forget. It confirmed the fact that I was good enough to play at the next level. I trained nonstop for a year and a half after finishing college at Syracuse to have the opportunity to show my skills to the coaches in Arizona. Just based on the numbers, the chances of a high school player making it to the pros is .01% and I am fortunate enough to say that I am one of those select lucky athletes. Thankfully I am only 23 and still have a lot of time to continue to train and advance my career in the NFL.


Q: You said Blair Walsh has always been your favorite kicker, what makes him stand out more than any other great kicker?


A: Blair has been my favorite kicker since I started kicking as a freshman in high school. When I first started, my first goal was to make it to college, and Blair was one of the top kickers in college at the time. He was playing for the Georgia Bulldogs and he was experiencing the success that I was after. After his success in college, he was picked up by the Vikings where he continued to excel; coincidentally, that was around the same time that I started my college career in New York. He continued to inspire me to push harder to get to the next level. Now that I’m out of college, I have had the opportunity to train and kick against Blair on multiple occasions. It is a cool moment to be able to train with your heroes and be acknowledged that you are on par with them. It was a really special moment for me.  


Q: What was it like to get to practice with a great kicker like Zane Gonzalez? Did he help you in furthering your career?


A: Working with Zane was fantastic. While training, I had always been warned about coming into a new team as a rookie. Usually, you’re the guy that has to do all of the monotonous work like carrying the bags, getting everyone water, getting everyone food, and a bunch of other crap. Luckily, it was the exact opposite while working with Zane, Aaron Brewer, and Andy Lee over in Arizona. It was the best group of guys that I could’ve asked for and I’m thankful that I was able to spend time and train with those guys. Zane and I kick very differently but it was interesting to study his technique and see what works for him. He also taught me how to limit my reps throughout the year. NFL seasons are at least 20 weeks (instead of 12-13 in college) and so it is really important to limit reps throughout the year to stay healthy.


Q: What was it like getting to be one of the few people that got a chance to play in the AAF?


A: Playing in the AAF was interesting. Because the league was just getting started, everything seemed like it was rushed and unorganized. Granted, there are a lot of things that are going on simultaneously that make running a league very complex. Having said that, I had a great time working with and meeting people in the business. Because of the AAF, I was fortunate enough to meet people like Mike Martz, Jeff Fisher, Troy Polamalu, and many others. 


Q: Is there anyone in particular who has helped you in becoming such a great kicker and got you to the point of having a chance in the NFL?


A: There have been a bunch of people that have helped me get to where I’m currently at. Since finishing college, the one man who has helped me the most would have to be John Carney. John played 23 seasons in the NFL and is #5 all-time in scoring in the history of the NFL. I have worked with him 2-3 times a week for the last 2 years and has helped me make that extra leap towards being ready for the NFL. He has also brought in tons of pro-level specialists for me to compete with. Some of those specialists include Blair Walsh, Nick Novak, Steve Weatherford, Chris Blewitt, Young Hoe Koo, and many others


Q: What do you plan on doing with the rest of your career, attempt a career in the CFL, try out for the XFL, or give it another shot in the NFL, what’s next?


A: At this point, I’m focusing on the NFL. I’m still young and I have a lot of time before I need to look for other options. You have to be lucky to get in this business and if I’m not fortunate enough to make it in the next few years, the CFL and XFL will become viable options. but until then, I’m aiming for the top. After playing, I want to coach in college or the NFL. That will come later down the road, but once I’m done playing I want to stay in the football world for sure.


Q: Lastly, what would you have to say to a kid who wants to give it a shot in pursuing their dreams in making the big leagues?


A: I think the first thing young athletes have to realize is the cost of chasing the dream. People think that if you are a good athlete that it is guaranteed. In reality, it’s the guys who skip going out with friends because they need to sleep 8 hours for training in the morning. It’s the guys who are willing to drive 2 hours to find a trainer who can teach them properly. It’s the guys who choose the chicken salad over the fast-food every time. It’s a lot to give up, but if you make it, the rewards are worth it.