Liam Murphy of Allentown, the No. 41 ranked athlete in MileSplit's Class of 2020 recruits, announced on Sunday that he has committed to the Villanova University.
This is the second straight year that Villanova has landed one of NJ's most prized recruits.
Murphy, who also visited Georgetown and Rutgers, will be joining former Hopewell Valley graduate Sean Dolan at Nova. Dolan won the mile at the 2018 New Balance National Championships and he captured the 1,600 at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions last June.
Murphy, coming off his second straight Mercer County title on Friday in 15:20 to remain undefeated on the season, has been burning up the trails this fall.
Among his biggest victories was a remarkable performance in the Eastern States race at the Manhattan Invitational on Oct. 12 when he ran 12:15.2, tied for No. 11 in course history on the legendary 2.5-mile layout at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Murphy also ran a personal Holmdel Park best of 15:32 at the Shore Coaches Invit. on Oct. 5, ran 15:17 to break the Thompson Park course record last month, and opened his season with a 14:52 at The Battle of Ocean County Park, No. 5 on course history.
Murphy, in just his second year running XC, gave up soccer last year and turned in a remarkable rookie campaign, establishing himself as one of the top distance runners in the country.
He was third at the Meet of Champions last year in 15:53, placed fourth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional with a PR of 15:38, and finished 33rd at FL Nationals.
Then last winter, Murphy scored the biggest win of his career in the greatest 3,200m race in state indoor history when he stunned defending champion Devin Hart of Pt. Pleasant Boro to win the 3,200 at the Indoor Meet of Champions with a PR of 8:54.22, the top time in the country during the indoor season, and No. 2 in NJ indoor history.
During the outdoor season last spring, Murphy ran a PR of 4:18.76 in the 1,600, ran 9:04.43 in the 3,200, was second in the state Group 3 3,200 (9:08.55) and 12th at the Meet of Champions.