Stingers’ Jeremy Murphy Joins Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Concordia Wide Receiver Kickstarts Canadian Football League Career

Photo Courtesy Kyran Thicke / Concordia Athletics

Jeremy Murphy heard his name called by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with the eighth selection in the third round–26th overall–of the 2023 CFL Draft on May 2. “I was excited, very happy, and a bit nervous, stressed,” he said.

Coming off a promising 2021 season that was cut short due to a hamstring tear, the Saint-Bruno, Que. native had a strong bounceback season in 2022. In seven games with the Stingers, he caught 29 passes for 589 yards and two touchdowns.

Thanks to his stellar performance, some CFL mock drafts predicted that Murphy would get selected as high as the early second round.

However, he was not hoping for anything specific heading into the draft in terms of how high he would get selected or by which team. His only goal was to get drafted, and go from there.

“At the end of the day, it could have been in the first round. It could have been in the last round. It could have been undrafted,” Murphy said. “I would have been fine with whatever would have happened.”

Even though he was not hoping to get selected by any specific team, he was still surprised to get drafted by Winnipeg. He spoke with many teams leading up to the draft, and several seemed to have interest in him, but he did not think Winnipeg would be his landing spot since he spoke with other teams more than the Blue Bombers.

Getting drafted into the CFL officially closes the book on Murphy’s career as a Concordia Stinger. Murphy suited up for 18 games across three seasons as a Stinger, catching 86 passes for 1,387 yards and 10 touchdowns. He won U Sports Rookie of the Year in 2019, and was named to the U Sports All-Canadian first team in 2021. He will look to add more accomplishments to his resume in the CFL.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have participated in three consecutive Grey Cup games from 2019 to 2022, excluding the 2020 CFL season which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they won the historic trophy in 2019 and 2021. They have qualified for the playoffs six seasons in a row, dating back to 2016.

“I’m privileged to be able to join a winning organization that’s been at the top of this league for the past five, six years,” Murphy said with great satisfaction. He sounded excited at the prospect of being a part of their success going forward. “Hopefully I can add on to that and just keep going with what they’re doing,” he said.

But joining a winning organization also means that it will be difficult for the 23-year-old to get his foot in the door. With established players such as Nic Demski, Kenny Lawler and Dalton Schoen already filling out the wide receiver position for the Blue Bombers, Murphy will have his work cut out for him to earn a full-time spot on the roster.

But he is not phased by the challenge in front of him, feeling more motivated to perform to the best of his abilities at the Blue Bombers training camp, which began on May 14. “I’m not going to shy away from having to fight for a position,” Murphy said.

He nonetheless acknowledged that there may not be a spot open for him immediately. “I know that there are guys that have been here for a long time and that they’re proven. So I’m not here to step on any toes. I’m just here to do my job,” he added, even if that means beginning his career on Winnipeg’s practice squad before earning a roster spot.

Murphy is keeping his expectations in check for now, but he hopes to compete and improve every chance he gets. He will have two opportunities to play in preseason games before the 2023 CFL regular season begins.

Winnipeg’s first preseason game is on Saturday, May 27 against the Edmonton Elks.