Former Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy has signed his letter of intent with Duke, the school announced Saturday. Murphy entered the transfer portal at the conclusion of the Longhorns' 2023 regular season. The No. 20 overall prospect and No. 4 quarterback in 247Sports' transfer rankings will have three years of eligibility with the Blue Devils. 

Murphy signed with Texas in 2022 and spent his first season buried on the depth chart behind starter Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card, who transferred to Purdue last offseason. Murphy took a redshirt as a freshman and entered this season as Texas' backup despite the addition of ballyhooed five-star freshman Arch Manning, the No. 1 player in the 2023 Top247. 

Murphy got to log the first two starts of his career late into the 2023 campaign when Ewers missed time due to injury. Murphy led the Longhorns to a 2-0 record against BYU and Kansas State while completing 35 passes for 418 yards and three touchdowns. He did struggle with turnovers, tossing three interceptions, and he only completed 51.4% of his passes against the Wildcats despite the win. 

Texas reached the College Football Playoff after going 12-1 en route to capturing its first Big 12 championship since 2009. However, Murphy entered the portal and committed to Duke before the Longhorns' CFP semifinal loss to Washington in the Sugar Bowl, citing urgency to find a new home before the new year given the timing of the Fall transfer portal window and other factors.

Murphy is the second transfer to commit to Duke since coach Manny Diaz's hiring in December, joining former Penn defensive lineman Will Seiler. It will be hard to beat Murphy's addition in terms of importance. 

What Murphy brings to Duke

Upside is the name of the game with Murphy. He has very limited playing experience, with just seven total appearances and only a relative handful of meaningful snaps, and what he's shown during his actual time on the field has been inconsistent. 

He was impressive against BYU, though Texas did a good job of bringing him along and not putting too much on his shoulders. He completed 64% of his passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. While he accounted for more total yards against Kanas State (248), he had to take on a much larger load given the competitive nature of that game. His aforementioned completion percentage dropped off a cliff --he attempted 12 more passes against the Wildcats but only had three more completions than he did against BYU --  and he had two interceptions to just one touchdown. 

The potential is apparent, though. Murphy boasts an atypical 6-foot-5 and 235-pound frame, which means he's hard to bring to the turf. He has a cannon for an arm and uses that height as leverage to generate more velocity on his throws, allowing him to effortlessly hit on deep balls without letting it hang in the air too long. If he can just hone in his accuracy and improve on his decision making, both of which can be bettered through practice and live game reps, he could develop into one of the better quarterbacks to pass through Duke in at least a few years. 

Duke has options

While Murphy was clear when he entered the portal that he was going somewhere to play immediately, Duke's quarterback room as a whole is in a healthy spot. The Blue Devils lost incumbent starter Riley Leonard to Notre Dame, but they now have three gunslingers with legitimate starting experience -- barring any other entries into the portal -- and all still have plenty of eligibility left.

Redshirt freshman Henry Belin IV started one game in 2023 when Leonard suffered an ankle injury and led the Blue Devils to a win against NC State while tossing two touchdowns on just four completions. Belin dealt with injury issues of his own and Leonard was effectively sidelined for the rest of the season in a loss to Louisville, so true freshman Grayson Loftis closed the year out. 

Loftis guided the Blue Devils to a 2-2 record over the final four games, securing bowl eligibility while impressing with 707 yards and eight touchdowns to just three interceptions through the air. Murphy will likely start, but Duke could have some healthy competition in the offseason.