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Grand Forks Central's Zack Murphy highlights UND football's second signing class

Grand Forks Central's Zack Murphy is one of the city's best prep baseball, hockey and football players. But the decision on which sport to pick to play at the college level was an easy one. "Most of my life, football has come a little easier," Mu...

Grand Forks Central quarterback Zack Murphy runs into the endzone to score the first points of the Cushman Classic Friday night at Cushman Field. Red River defenders Brady Dvorak (15) and Landon Haagenson (20) pursue. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks Central quarterback Zack Murphy scores against Grand Forks Red River last season. Photo/Eric Hylden, Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Central's Zack Murphy is one of the city's best prep baseball, hockey and football players.

But the decision on which sport to pick to play at the college level was an easy one.

"Most of my life, football has come a little easier," Murphy said. "Hockey and baseball have always been harder for me to stand out. Football always came the most naturally."

On Wednesday, Murphy will make his college decision official when he joins the UND football signing class.

At 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, Murphy expects to start his time at UND playing outside linebacker.

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Murphy will be a preferred walk-on at UND, passing up offers to play at Minnesota State Moorhead, Minot State and the University of Mary, among others.

A two-way threat at quarterback at Central, Murphy was named a first team all-state selection.

He was 78-for-146 passing for 936 yards and eight touchdowns. He rushed 224 times for 1,109 yards and 13 touchdowns.

In the Eastern Dakota Conference, Murphy finished in the top five in rushing (second), all-purpose yards (second), total offense (third) and passing (fifth).

Murphy's dad, Greg, was a UND football letterwinner in 1990.

"I grew up here and went to so many UND football games and my dad played at UND," Murphy said. "That set me up to want to play for UND since I was little. That was always my goal. Once they offered me, there was no way to pass it up."

UND is expected to sign about eight players during this second signing period. UND signed 20 players during the original signing period in late December.

This is the first year of the early signing period.

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UND will hold its annual signing day party for fans at the Alerus Center at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the main concourse.

Complimentary hor d'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. The event is free and open to the public.

Zack Murphy
Zack Murphy

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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