- Kyle Bonagura, ESPN Staff Writer
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Much of the talk about Stanford's Trent Murphy leading into the NFL scouting combine has centered around his position.
Is he an outside linebacker or a defensive end?
For Murphy, those questions can really only be answered by whichever team ends up drafting him.
"I'm almost positive I'm doing the linebacker drills [at the combine]," he said. "As far as what teams are looking at me for is probably a little bit of both."
Murphy spent most of his week at the Senior Bowl in January at defensive end before he was switched to outside linebacker, his primary position at Stanford, a day before the game. Despite having played some defensive end at Stanford, he said some of what they had him do was a bit foreign.
Coaches at the Senior Bowl had him line up tighter on the line than he was used to -- sometimes inside the offensive tackles to play against the run. When he lined up as a defensive end at Stanford, it was usually much wider in situations where he was used to rush the passer.
"That was different, but I was getting used to it," Murphy said.
Reviews on his performance were mixed, but Murphy said it was a good overall experience -- especially because he got to meet with NFL teams.
"Teams want to see what kind of character you have and how intelligent you are," said Murphy, who graduated from Stanford with a degree in Science, Technology and Society. "They put that together with your résumé on tape. What they see [at the Senior Bowl and combine] kind of verifies what they see on tape, but what they learn about your character is almost more important."
Murphy, who led the nation with 15 sacks in 2013, is among Stanford's Pac-12-best group of eight players that will be in Indianapolis for the combine. He will participate in every drill, and he said he's hoping to run in the 4.65-second range in the 40-yard dash.
"If I have a good start, which I hope I do, 4.65 should be no problem," he said.
Three days after Stanford's Rose Bowl loss to Michigan State, Murphy departed for Bradenton, Fla., where he has been training feverishly at the IMG Academy with several other highly-touted prospects, including Notre Dame's Zack Martin, Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, among others.
Every morning Murphy wakes up at 4 a.m., heads over to a hyperbaric chamber for a few more hours of sleep, then completes a regiment of working out, stretching, football drills, mock interviews and other assorted activities to prepare for what he'll go through at the combine.
Murphy said he's spoken with former Stanford teammates Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo about what their experiences were like and is confident between those conversations and what he's learned at IMG that he's ready.
"I've been waiting for this day for al ing time now," Murphy said. "I could be more excited to tackle it."
He will return Stanford to participate in the school's pro day on March 20.