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Wednesday, 14 May 2014 16:01

Baxter, Murphy Earn Invites to NFL Camps

Joel Murphy and former BU teammate Dillon Baxter have been invited to NFL Rookie Camps Joel Murphy and former BU teammate Dillon Baxter have been invited to NFL Rookie Camps

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Two former Baker University standout football players have been invited to compete this weekend at NFL Rookie Camps for a shot to make a NFL roster.

Former tight end Joel Murphy has been invited to tryout at the Carolina Panthers Rookie Camp this Thursday through Saturday, while running back Dillon Baxter will tryout at the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks Rookie Camp.

Each former Wildcat hopes by the end of the camps they will earn an NFL contract to join the team for training camp this summer.

Murphy played his final season for the Wildcats in 2012 and was an All-HAAC Honorable Mention selection in 2012.

He then went on to a regional combine last year at the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and didn't receive an invite to a NFL Rookie Camp but did receive some solid advice that he took with him into this year.

"The scouts last year said I was pretty stiff running my routes and needed to play with a bit more fluidity," said Murphy. "So that's what I worked on this past year and I went in with a lot of confidence to the regional combine this year."

The past few months, Murphy had been working out in Southern California a the Prolific Athletes facility in Carlsbad, Calif., with former teammate Baker teammates Kyle Bolton and Baxter along with NFL Draft picks Logan Thomas (Virgina Tech), 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) and Mike Evans (Texas A&M).

He was then invited again to a NFL regional combine in Chicago in which 5,000 athletes tried out. Only 250 were called back by other teams out of that crop, and Murphy was one, as he received a phone call from the Panthers inviting him to Carolina.

Now Murphy and Baxter will hope that the dreams they began while competing at Baker will come true on the football field in either Seattle or Carolina.

"Baker gave me an opportunity to play football," said Murphy. "They helped me out a lot and taught me the game and the fundamentals. Right now I'm super excited. I will be like a little kid in a candy store when I get there with excitement. But I know the ultimate goal is to make it to training camp and the preseason with the Panthers and I'm focused on that."

Baxter led Baker with 1,025 rushing yards in 2013 and tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with six, en route to a 2013 HAAC Second Team All-Conference selection. He began his collegiate career at the University of Southern California as the No. 1 rated high school running back in the country out of Mission Bay High School in San Diego, Calif.

After two seasons at USC he then transferred to his hometown school of San Diego State University, but after just two months at SDSU he transferred again, this time to Baker.

Murphy and Baxter both hope to become the second and third Baker Wildcats currently on a NFL roster.

Tanner Purdum a 2007 graduate of Baker will enter his fifth season with the New York Jets this fall and re-signed with the Jets last offseason.

"I love the Baker family," said Murphy. "I thank all the coaches and fans. They helped shape me into who I am today and full credit goes to Baker."

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