James Murphy - Wide Receiver - Utah State - 1983-90
James Murphy went to college at Utah State where he was a star receiver. Murphy was selected in the 10th round of the 1981 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings; he played sparingly and was released after his rookie season. After a failed try-out with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1982, Murphy joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the 1983 season.
The Florida native was an instant star in the league. In just 14 games his first season he had 1,126 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns. Winnipeg had found a go to threat for many years to come. In 1984, Murphy exploded catching passes from Tom Clements in what would be a championship season for the Blue Bombers he had 1,220 yards through the air and 12 touchdowns. It was a magical season in Winnipeg. Led by Clements along with Willard Reaves the Blue Bomber offence was the envy of the entire league. Matched with a dominating defence the team finished the year 11-4-1 and would go on to defeat Hamilton in the Grey Cup 47-17.
Injuries would limit Murphy in 1985 to just 12 games and he would fail to break the 1,000 yard receiving plateau. He would return with a vengeance in 1986 with an incredible 1,746 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Murphy would be named a league all-star and win the leagues Most Outstanding Player award for his dominating season.
The speedy receiver would continue his dominance from 1987 to 1989. James was the premiere receiver in the league as he finished with totals of 1,130, 1,409 and 1,150 respectively to round out the decade. He captured his second Grey Cup with Winnipeg in 1988 as the Blue Bombers defeated B.C. 22-21. He was named a league all-star 4 straight seasons (86-89).
1990 would be his final season in the CFL, in 12 games he totalled 506
yards for 2 touchdowns as he won his 3rd Grey Cup with Winnipeg over Edmonton 50-11. His final season concluded an incredible 8 season career
all spent with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
James Murphy had a terrific career as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber and was named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
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