March 19, 2013
Fordham University senior placekicker Patrick Murray (Mahwah, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) has another award to add to his cache as he was named a recipient of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for his work both on the field and in the classroom.
Murray is one of 58 senior student-athletes to receive an NCAA's 2012-13 fall sports postgraduate scholarship (29 male and 29 female), the lone representative from the Patriot League, with each student-athlete receiving a $7,500 award. Similar awards are given each season to winter and spring student-athletes, totaling 174 individual winners.
To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study. Student-athletes must also maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average and be nominated by their institution's faculty athletics representative.
Created in 1964, NCAA postgraduate scholarships promote and encourage education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student-athletes.
A Finance major with a 3.60 GPA, Murray is busy training for a shot at a professional football career. He also has plans to attend law school at some point in the future.
The honor is the latest among many 2012-20-13 accolades for Murray, who also received the 2012 Fred Mitchell Award as the most outstanding place kicker and was a consensus All-America performer.
The Fred Mitchell Award is presented annually to the nation's top place-kicker in the NCAA FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA for excellence on the football field and in the community. The Award is named for Fred Mitchell, the All-American place-kicker from Wittenberg University and longtime sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
The Mitchell Award is one of a plethora of awards Murray received for the 2012 season. He was named a consensus First Team All-American placekicker by the Associated Press, The Sports Network, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the Beyond Sports Network (BSN) this year. He was also named the BSN Special Teams Player the Year and received First Team All-Patriot League honors as both a placekicker and punter.
Murray was also named the 2012 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Placekicker of the Year as well as being named an ECAC All-Star at both placekicker and punter. It is the second straight year Murray has been honored by the CFPA as in 2011 he was named the Punt Performer of the Year.
Murray is the first player in CFPA history to earn annual honors in consecutive seasons, as well as the first player to earn annual honors at both Placekicker and Punter. For the third straight season, a Fordham Ram has earned CFPA annual honors (Stephen Skelton earned the 2010 CFPA Elite Tight End Award).
Off the field, Murray has been active in community service projects with the football team which includes volunteering for a program where players read to elementary school children in the Bronx. He is also active with the Part of the Solution (POTS) program, working with teammates at local food shelters. Murray also serves as a volunteer assistant coach with the school's men's intramural soccer program and has volunteered for various food drives and toy drives at Fordham.
Murray dedicated the 2012 season to his friend, Vincent Crotty, who was killed in a tragic car accident prior to Murray's freshman year at Fordham. He had grown up and attended school with Crotty and the families became very close. He has helped raise awareness of Crotty's charity, The Vincent Crotty Foundation, which was formed as a way to keep the memory and spirit of Crotty alive. The foundation assists needy children and families as well as youth sports programs throughout the Suffern NY and surrounding areas
"Whenever I was nervous or felt the pressure coming on this year I would grab my left wrist which I always taped and wrote Vinny's initials, VC, on and I would know he was there," said Murray. "It was such an honor to play for Fordham this year, and to have the successes that I had made it even better. There are many things in this world that are bigger than football. I didn't really comprehend that until Vinny passed away. I try and live every day how he would have, always having fun and always laughing. His smile and laugh were unlike any others, and I want to try and keep his memory alive. Vinny is and always will be my inspiration."
Murray has also recently become involved with the Team Katie Foundation .
Murray enjoyed the most successful season for a Fordham kicker in school history, leading all of the NCAA in field goals with 25 and leading the Patriot League and ranking second in the NCAA in punting average (46.0). He set a new Fordham and Patriot League record with 25 field goals, shattering the former mark of 18 set by Fordham's Matt Fordyce in 2002. The 25 three-pointers was just one shy of the NCAA FCS record of 26 set by set by Tony Zendejas from Nevada in 1982 and matched by Northern Iowa's Brian Mitchell in 1990.
Murray connected on four field goals of over 50 yards this fall, the most 50-yarders of any NCAA Division I kicker. He booted a school-record 55-yarder at Cincinnati as well as connecting on a 52-yard field goal versus Lock Haven.
On the year, Murray converted 25 of his 30 field goal attempts and 30 of 31 PATs to amass 105 points, ranking third on the school's single season list and becoming the first Fordham kicker to score more than 100 points in a season. He also broke the Patriot League mark of 97 kick scoring points in a season set by Fordyce in 2002.
Over his career, Murray booted 38 field goals, sixth best all-time at Fordham.
As a punter, Murray averaged a school-record 46.0 yards/kick, with 18 of his 52 kicks traveling over 50 yards, including a season-best 65-yarder, while 14 of his punts were downed inside the opponent's 20. He closes out his career with 186 punts for 7,985 yards, an average of 42.9 yards/punt, the second best career punting average in Fordham history.
The Rams finished the 2012 season with a 6-5 record, a five-win improvement from the 2010 season, tying Fordham for the second best turnaround in the NCAA FCS this fall.