When former Syracuse kicker Cole Murphy signed with the Arizona Cardinals earlier this week, he became the most recent of several notable SU kickers to receive an NFL opportunity – some have certainly had more success than others.
Playing at the Carrier Dome, it makes perfect sense that Syracuse kickers have experienced college success. Impressively enough, Murphy finished his career with the Orange as the program’s all-time leader in field goals made (59).
That tops a list that includes the likes of Syracuse great John Biskup (57) as well as NFL alums Dave Jacobs (53), and the ever-renowned Gary Anderson (42). Additionally, despite a college career that wasn’t necessarily so illustrious, SU has also produced 10-year NFL veteran Olindo Mare.
Murphy’s 81.3 field goal percentage in 2014 ranks eighth on Syracuse’s all-time single season leaderboard. As a sophomore in 2015, Murphy hit 16 field goals, which is tied for the seventh-highest single season total in school history. Murphy struggled in 2016, going 10-of-18, but bounced back in a big way as a senior.
Murphy hit a career-high 20 field goals in 2017 – a school record that lasted just one season until it was broken by Lou Groza Award winner Andre Szmyt. Murphy himself was a two-time finalist for the award.
For Murphy, signing with the Cardinals is pretty much a complete 180-turn for the former Syracuse standout. The 22-year-old was released by the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) after a stint laden with inconsistency.
All in all, the fact that Murphy is getting an NFL look serves as quite the testament to the prestige of Syracuse kicking. The four-year Orange kicker sits ninth on the program’s list of career field goal percentage leaders, yet if he were to make the team out of Cardinals camp, Murphy would be the fifth Syracuse kicker to play in the NFL. However, regardless of what happens to Murphy in Arizona, look for that number to change in the near future.