USC Football: Connor Murphy looking to bulk up with 7,000-calorie diet

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Connor Murphy, who converted from outside linebacker to defensive end this spring, is looking to bulk up with a 7,000-calorie diet.

At 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, Connor Murphy was too big to play outside linebacker. Having made the switch to the defensive line, he now faces a new dilemma: He’s too small.

To thrive at defensive end, the junior wants to get get his weight up to 270 pounds by the end of spring camp. His plan to get there is simple.

“Eat 7,000 calories a day and eat until I feel like I’m going to throw up, that’s my weight gain program,” Murphy said.

The coaches approached Murphy about changing positions because his frame is capable of carrying that weight, however he puts it on.

“You see the length and his frame growing and growing,” head coach Clay Helton said. “He’s a guy that we picture as a Rasheem Green-type body.”

Green, who declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season after leading USC with 10 sacks, played at 275 pounds in 2017 so Murphy isn’t too far off. If he can get anywhere near Green’s level, not just his weight, the Trojans would have a force to be reckoned with, one with a great deal of versatility.

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“He gives us the ability to not only play three-technique, but versus those non-zone read teams, being able move out to defensive end over top of a tight end,” Helton said.

The question for Murphy this spring is how quickly he can settle in at defensive end. Other upperclassmen who have made an offseason position change, like defensive-lineman-turned-offensive-lineman Jacob Daniel and running-back-turned-cornerback Dominic Davis, have taken a redshirt year to learn their new role.

Murphy’s not completely on board with the idea of redshirting as a junior, though he said he wouldn’t argue the point with Helton.

“At this point I’m just trying to get on the field,” Murphy said.

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The competition for playing time this season will be fierce, with Christian Rector, Malik Dorton, Liam Jimmons and junior college transfer Caleb Tremblay vying for places, so Murphy will have to get a move on.