SOUTH BEND – It’s not every week a Mid-American conference team faces a major college football program. Former Columbia City player Jared Murphy benefited when his Ohio Miami Redhawks faced the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium last Saturday.

There were more than 75 family and friends of Murphy’s in attendance to watch him face Notre Dame. The game was a sellout, with nearly 80,000 fans in attendance.

Murphy runs out of the visitors locker room with his team at Notre Dame Stadium.

“The support Jared receives is great,” said Murphy’s mother, Jo Murphy. “We are so thankful for all the family and friends who support and cheer him on every week at the games, and from home. It is such a blessing to have hometown support. Jared, along with us, truly appreciates all of the support.”

Murphy was a Notre Dame fan growing up. The senior’s road trip to Notre Dame proved to be a once in a lifetime experience. He played against Notre Dame captain linebacker Drue Tranquill, who Murphy played with on a seven-on-seven football team.

“He is always ready to compete and was also excited to line up against a friend and former teammate from Fort Wayne,” said Jo Murphy. “We spoke to Jared after the game and he told us he was thankful for his opportunity to play at Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame defeated Miami 52-17, but Murphy caught three receptions for 27 yards. The senior’s play of the game came on special teams. Notre Dame was set for a punt, but faked with a run up the middle instead. Murphy, the punt returner was the only Redhawk in the path of the runner. Murphy stepped in front and recorded a touchdown-saving tackle.

“It was exciting but not a surprise to me at all,” said Jo Murphy. “Jared does whatever he can to help his team. I thought he made a great open field tackle. Wrapped him up and brought him down. I got a little excited and missed taking the picture though.”

Jared Murphy runs with the football after a catch and attempts to run away from Irish defenders.

Miami has played against stiff competition in major college football programs before. Murphy has also played at Michigan’s “Big House,” Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

“It is exciting to see Jared play at this level,” said Jo Murphy. “There is an energy surging through these stadiums that makes it very exciting and fun. We are very proud of him and all of his hard work.”

Jared Murphy had grown a lot as a man at his time at Miami. His work ethic had paid off for him. Murphy has scored 13 touchdowns for the Redhawks in his career.

“Jared continues to dedicate more time to training and keeping his body in the best condition all year,” said Jo Murphy. “He has increased his knowledge of the game and training further. He has become a great communicator. He has learned to look at the positive side of every situation. He knows how blessed he is to have this opportunity to do what he loves. He loves his teammates and shares his experience and knowledge he has gained as a veteran player. He wants success as a team. He loves Miami University and is thankful for the opportunities he has been given.”