as our receiver/kick returner next year ... Q&A with Terrence Murphy By: Amanda Burke Amanda Burke, an all-conference and all-region midfielder on the nationally-ranked Texas A&M soccer team, will spend some time visiting this spring with fellow student-athletes in a regular feature here on AggieAthletics.com. Amanda sat down this week with Terrence Murphy, a wide receiver on the Texas A&M football team. Terrence earned All-Big 12 honors as a junior last season, catching 44 balls for 762 yards and averaging 27.2 yards as a kick returner. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When and how did you start playing football? "Well, sort of as soon as I started walking. My older brothers played football, (and) my uncle and my step dad and my other uncle played in the NFL. Football was just in my whole family. We love football, and my mom told me that as soon as I started walking I had a football in my hands." Did you play any other sports growing up? "When I was growing up my brothers and cousins played at Texas and Baylor, so I couldn't really play little league football because I had to go to their games on Saturday. Plus, my mom didn't really want me to get broke up so I didn't play football till seventh grade. I had played baseball since I was like six years old, and I was really good in baseball. I was also playing basketball and running track. I did everything. I even played tennis a little bit." What was your favorite sport of all of those? "My favorite sport was probably baseball. I used to love baseball. All I wanted to do was play baseball. But I always knew in the back of my mind that football was going to be my way of getting a scholarship or just the way of getting out of my neighborhood, so I knew I was going to play football." Talk to me a little bit about making the transition from playing quarterback all through high school to playing wide receiver here at A&M. "Well, I always knew that I could play wide receiver, and when all the schools came in recruiting me, I told them I wanted to play wide receiver. Most of them wanted me to play quarterback because they saw what I could do at quarterback. I just knew playing quarterback you have to sit out one or two years, and you have to get red shirted and learn the system. I just wanted to go out and just play receiver, and if it didn't go good, then I knew I could always fall back on quarterback. I worked hard, and the Lord blessed me with the abilities to play wide receiver." What is the relationship like between the quarterback and his receivers? "I think that's like the closest bond there is in football--the wide receiver and quarterback--just like Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. You've got to be really close with your quarterback. When I played quarterback, I knew everyone of my receivers' weaknesses and strengths. I knew who I could throw the ball out in front of, who I could play it up for. The quarterback has to know his wide receivers because you can't throw the football to everyone the same. Sometimes, like to me, you can throw the ball soft, and I can catch it and make something happen with it, but a big receiver like Tydrick Riley, you throw it up real high and you let him go and get it. There are just big differences like that, so you have to be real close with your quarterback." I heard something about how you always have to wear something yellow. What is that all about? "That's my favorite color. Inside my car, my Camaro, I have nothing but yellow on the inside. And that's my high school color. We're the Chapel Hill Bulldogs, and we're blue and gold. Yellow's my favorite color, and I feel like it's good luck. I have yellow socks and yellow everything. It's just my favorite color and I always have to have something on yellow. Like my mouthpiece, I was probably the only dude in the game with a yellow mouthpiece last year, and everybody made jokes about that. But it's just my good luck." So in the games, is that the only thing you wear that's yellow? "I've worn some yellow socks in one game. It might have been an away game, but I have some yellow socks…footies, not long socks." Speaking of colors, I hear that you are the only player showing up to practice in white shoes this spring season… "(Laughing) Man! This has been the biggest thing, and I didn't even know it was going to be like this! "Okay, last summer my friend from Arkansas gave me some white cleats, and I wore them all last summer, nobody said anything about them. But this year we voted if we were going to wear white facemasks and white cleats or whatever. So then we had the vote, and we are going to wear white cleats and white facemasks. So I pulled the shoes back out, and I was just going to wear them to practice because my other shoes were hurting my feet. So I come to practice and everybody's like 'Aw, Mr. Murphy…He's the franchise. He has the shoes before everyone else gets them!' Even Coach Fran came over there, and he was busting jokes. Now I'm called Terrence 'White Shoes' Murphy. It's just something everybody's blown out of proportion. It's just some regular white cleats." You mentioned in a previous interview that nobody knows you used to be quiet. What do you think made you come out of your shell? "I think it was just growing up more. When I was in high school, I was the quarterback, and everybody thought I was a big shot--like a cocky dude--and I never wanted to come across like that so I just figured if I didn't say too much, I would never look cocky. I always try to be humble. And I'm still quiet sometimes, but it's more like being in the locker room and joking around. I joke around a lot more. I just come out of my shell and joke around and talk to more people. I'm more friendly. Back in high school I wouldn't say too much, but now I go up to people and introduce myself because you can't be ashamed of who you are." You play a key role on this team on and off the field. Everyone is able to see what you do on the field, but what is it that you do off the field behind the scenes? "The thing I need to do is, first of all, going out and showing them that I'm going to come to practice everyday and work hard and give it all I've got. And then, it's just little things…by staying after in the weight room or getting people to sign up on a list sheet and get them to come out there to throw the ball extra on the weekends. Just do the little things when everyone is quiet or down, that's when you have to say something. That's when the leader stands out. Or when you lose, you have to stand up and say something. Anybody can be a leader when you win, so it's just when it gets hard that you have to stand out and say something." You've been known to get out and help the community through Big Event and reading to elementary school kids. Talk to me about the importance of that. "It's really important. You can't take anything for granted. I remember when I was a little kid and bigger players would come (talk to us), and it was just the high school guys that would come back, but that was just a big deal to me. I always told myself that if I ever get up there to where kids looked up to me in any kind of way, I would never let them down. I would always go read to them and talk to them and never turn them down when they ask for autographs or something like that. That's a big deal to me. When I go talk to kids, that's a big deal. For Big Event, I just wanted to help and give back to the community and just show that there's a lot of good (people) on the team, too."