Golden, Murphy Square Off in 2015 Reese’s Senior Bowl

While running back Marcus Murphy and defensive end Markus Golden are used to playing on the same team, the 2015 Reese’s Senior Bowl saw them on opposing teams.

Murphy represented Mizzou on the North team, while Golden played for the South. The Senior Bowl, played on January 24 in Mobile, Alabama, was a chance for the top seniors in college football to play in an all-star game and raise their stock for the upcoming NFL Draft. Each team is headed up by an NFL coach, and this year’s teams were led by Ken Whisenhunt of the Tennessee Titans (North team) and Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars (South team).

The North team came out on top in a 34-13 win. Murphy recorded two kick returns for 60 yards, with his longest at 36 yards, and a punt return for 10 yards. Golden recorded a solo tackle for a loss of four yards.

Both players were crucial to Mizzou Football’s success this season. Murphy was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, and he was the only player in the FBS to score a touchdown in all four all-purpose categories this season: rushing (4 TDs), kickoff return (2), receiving (1), and punt return (1). He led the SEC in kickoff return average (among players with at least 15 attempts) with a 29.9-yard average, and his 82-yard punt return for a touchdown against Florida was the longest in the SEC this season. Murphy led the team in all-purpose yards with 1,921, and he is Mizzou’s all-time leader in special teams touchdowns with 7 return scores.

Golden was a force to be reckoned with at defensive end, recording 78 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks over the course of the season His 10 tackles and career-high 4 tackles for loss earned him MVP honors in Mizzou’s 33-20 win over Minnesota in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. Golden’s relentless pursuit on the D-line led to 95 yards lost in tackles and 66 yards lost in sacks.

With both players NFL hopefuls, Mizzou hopes to continue its tradition of the pipeline to the pros. Since 2009, Mizzou is in the top five of first-round draft picks and top five in wins among Power Five schools. Mizzou Football has also led the conference in Academic Progress Rate for three straight years, representing Head Coach Gary Pinkel and his staff’s Mizzou Made total development program. Not only do players come out of the Mizzou Football program better prepared for the NFL, but also better prepared for life.

The defending SEC East Champions and Citrus Bowl Champions will continue to work and improve this off-season. Follow Mizzou Football on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for information regarding Mizzou Football.