Shawn Murphy, a 4-star off-ball linebacker from Unity Reed High School in Manassas, Virginia, has officially signed his national letter of intent to continue his promising football career with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Murphy originally committed to Alabama in July.

The 6-foot-2, 215lbs linebacker was the 2021 Dick Butkus Award winner at the high school level for the nation's top defender.

247Sports's Brian Dohn describes Murphy as a punishing linebacker despite a more modern, slight frame seen in linebackers today. In Dohn's analysis, Murphy is a "physical, menacing player in the box. Shows suddenness to get to ball carrier. Plugs gaps with ferocity. Devastating hitter between the tackles."

Murphy will be tasked not only to add weight to his frame but also to improve as a coverage linebacker, a critical component in today's SEC.

The jury's out on whether Christian Harris and Henry To'o To'o will return in 2022 as much of their situation is based on their individual draft stock. As for the linebackers Murphy will definitely be joining in Tuscaloosa, Deonte Lawson is a sophomore from Mobile who will likely be the prime candidate to fill any gaps left by Harris, To'o To'o or the graduating Jaylen Moody. Shane Lee will be the rising senior veteran though Quandarrius Robinson and Kendrick Blackshire will be pushing for playing time.

Tuscaloosa Thread logo
Get our free mobile app

According to 247Sports Composite Rankings, Murphy is ranked as the fifth off-ball linebacker in the country, the second player in Virginia and the 57th overall player in the country. He was primarily recruited by edge linebacker coach Sal Sunseri.

Highest Rated Recruits of the Saban Era By Year

Check out Alabama's highest-rated recruit from each Crimson Tide recruiting class during the Nick Saban era.

Alabama's Top 10 Athletes - Fall 2021

The Alabama Crimson Tide boasts an extremely successful athletic department with amazing athletes playing multiple sports. The top 10 athletes include national champions, an Olympic athlete, SEC champions and various record holders.

More From Tuscaloosa Thread