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Gabriel and Grayson Murphy get set for 2nd season with UCLA football

Redshirt junior defensive linemen Gabriel (left) and Grayson Murphy (right) pose for a camera while walking off the field. The Murphy twins both started in all 13 of UCLA football’s games last season. (Joseph Jimenez/Photo editor)

By Benjamin Royer

Aug. 26, 2023 11:08 a.m.

Gabriel Murphy and Grayson Murphy jogged in from Wasserman Football Center and settled in front of the camera.

The former on the left and the latter on the right – a sight familiar to the Bruins’ defense last year – addressed the media for the first time this fall Thursday afternoon. The identical twins are entering their second seasons with UCLA football after transferring from North Texas in March 2022.

And just like from childhood to college, the redshirt junior defensive linemen are on the same wavelength. Gabriel Murphy said communication is spreading beyond his built-in best friend and across the unit as a whole.

“Working out this summer, coming out here, doing pass rush and the defense getting in the film room – things like that – I think everybody’s communication, not just us, everybody on the D-line, we’re all on the same page,” Gabriel Murphy said.

The 6-foot-3 defensive ends emerged as immediate contributors last season in their first year as Bruins.

Lining up as starters in all 13 games, the Murphys combined for 64 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Gabriel Murphy led his twin in tackles with 38 while Grayson Murphy covered the sacks side of the equation with five of his own.

Now, with experience in the front seven, the Lonestar State locals are attempting to improve their statistical output with new defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn in charge.

“We’re going to be a lot different,” Grayson Murphy said. “We got a lot of multiple fronts, multiple looks in the back end and we’re keeping everything schematically. We’re doing different things than we did last year. We’re going to keep it very, general, very simple, but at other times very confusing for the offense.”

While the twins had a substantial impact, ranking in the top six on the roster in tackles for loss, fellow newcomer, senior defensive lineman Laiatu Latu, came away with most of the accolades. He earned First-Team All-Pac-12 honors after tallying 10.5 sacks last season.

Sporting News listed Latu on its 2023 Preseason All-American team setting lofty expectations for the Washington transfer’s upcoming campaign.

Although the Murphys’ preseason buzz isn’t reaching the same heights as their teammate, Gabriel Murphy said Latu and other members of the defensive unit are pushing each other to attain their desired achievements.

“That’s my brother (Latu),” Gabriel Murphy said. “We work together, we come out here all through summer working together and I want him to accomplish all the goals that he got set. But I got my goals and he (Grayson) got his goals so we’re all trying to accomplish everything together.”

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Benjamin Royer | Assistant Sports editor
Royer is the 2023-2024 Assistant Sports editor on the baseball, gymnastics and men's water polo beats and a reporter on the football beat. He was previously a staff writer on the baseball, football and gymnastics beats. He is also a fourth-year communication student.
Royer is the 2023-2024 Assistant Sports editor on the baseball, gymnastics and men's water polo beats and a reporter on the football beat. He was previously a staff writer on the baseball, football and gymnastics beats. He is also a fourth-year communication student.
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