Texas Football: 3 breakout players stepping up late in bowl practice

Maalik Murphy, Jaydon Blue, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Maalik Murphy, Jaydon Blue, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Maalik Murphy, Texas football
Maalik Murphy, Texas football (Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images) /

We are now just a few days away from the kickoff of the Alamo Bowl between No. 20 Texas football and the No. 12 Washington Huskies at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Dec. 29. Head coach Steve Sarkisian will get to battle his former team, which gave him his first FBS head coaching job back in 2009.

This will be a tough battle for Sark and the Longhorns as first-year head coach Kalen DeBoer seems to have the Huskies on the up and up. Washington finished up the regular season with a record of 10-2 (7-2 PAC-12), bouncing back from a down campaign last year.

Meanwhile, Texas will be looking to prove a point that this team is definitively headed in the right direction under Sark’s wing. Texas finished up the regular season with a record of 8-4 (6-3 Big 12) after a double-digit win over the Baylor Bears in the finale on Nov. 25.

If the Longhorns are going to be able to get it done in the Alamo Bowl, Sark and his staff will need some of the younger players to step up, especially given some of the opt-outs for the postseason (i.e. Bijan Robinson and DeMarvion Overshown).

The late-stage bowl practice standouts for Texas football

With that in mind, here’s a look at three potential breakout players to watch for the Longhorns that are stepping up late in bowl practice.

Maalik Murphy, QB

A quarterback that Longhorns fans are eager to see actually take the field in live-game action is the former highly touted four-star California native recruit and true freshman Maalik Murphy. After spending most of the regular season either buried on the QB depth chart or recovering from injury, it looks like Murphy could finally receive some live-game reps if the situation calls for it in the Alamo Bowl.

Upon the departure of junior quarterback Hudson Card to the NCAA Transfer Portal earlier this month, the backup job officially became Murphy’s for the taking. And that does say something given how the third-string quarterback behind Card for most of the regular season was redshirt freshman and former three-star recruit Charles Wright.

Moreover, there is good news for Murphy coming out of bowl practice in the last couple of weeks. Most of what we’ve heard surrounding Murphy’s performance in Alamo Bowl practice is really positive. And a report from Jeff Howe of Horns247 this week (paid content) indicates that Sark and this staff continue to see Murphy make “positive strides”.

Murphy is clearly on the right trend line as he could very well wind up being the second-most experienced quarterback on the roster heading into spring ball next offseason.