Provided by Prince William County
Shawn Murphy, a Unity Reed High School graduate, recently won the Dick Butkus Award as the nation’s top high school linebacker.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently commended and congratulated Murphy for his outstanding sportsmanship and performance that led to the accolade. Murphy is the first high school player in Virginia to win the award.
Murphy, who had more than 40 college offers, will attend the University of Alabama.
During his high school career as a four-year varsity starter, Murphy racked up 314.5 career tackles. During the 2021 season, Murphy had 113 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, six sacks, and two interceptions in 12 games. Murphy, who graduated high school early to begin classes at the University of Alabama this spring, is ranked as the country’s top inside linebacker prospect for the class of 2022.
The Butkus Award Selection Committee said Murphy “plays the game with the same intent that Dick Butkus once did.”
Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland read the resolution which quoted the selection committee which called Murphy a ‘knockback hitter with outstanding speed, athletic ability, and range.”
Murphy is a player that people like watching on the field. “People like the way he plays,” said Unity Reed High School Head Coach Carroll Walker. “He’s been a fan favorite. Coaches across the country put this young man at the top of the charts.”
In addition to the statistics Murphy’s racked up during his high school career, he played top-notch football week-in and week-out. “This kid plays with confidence. He plays with the idea that he always wanted to be the best at his position. Everything drove him to be a big-time player. He just works so hard and competed across the country and showed his skill level,” Walker said
“That young man works very hard. He’s very humble, but he wants to be at the top level. I foresee him working very hard in the off-season to get to where he needs to be. He’s going to a school that puts a lot of kids in the NFL,” Walker said. “I’m real proud of him. This is a great opportunity for this kid. As he came in as a freshman, I saw that he was a great athlete. I had great hopes for him, and he has lived out everything I expected.”
The Board wished Murphy continued success on and off the field.