Andrei Murphy | Community Leadership

Andrei Murphy is a proud citizen of Des Moines and accomplished insurance solutions professional.

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Hawkeye Football, Andrei Murphy

Hawkeye 2017 NFL Draft Forecast

While Iowa may have made a statement on the field last year, they went largely unnoticed in the NFL draft. Moving forward, however, there are several star athletes who could very well (and likely will) be drafted to the professional level. Let’s take a deeper look:

Desmond King

Last year’s Thorpe Award winner, Desmond King will try to make history this coming season by taking home the prestigious distinction yet again. Approaching this draft, it was thought King would be a first round pick, but in an effort to make his mark on college football history, as well to make a deeper impression on NFL front offices, the now senior will return to Iowa to round out the remainder of his collegiate career. Notably so, the hype is already building considering CBS Sports has rated king as the number one DB prospect for this coming fall.

C.J Beathard

Not to be forgotten, C.J. Beathard just completed a successful junior season boasting of 2nd team All-Big Ten honors. Beathard may very well begin the upcoming preseason as the 1st team All-Big Ten, but only fittingly so considering he is widely regarded as the 2nd best quarterback prospect according to CBS Sports. Just as well, in light of the fact that Connor Cook was just drafted in the fourth round, and Beathard has not only better legs than Cook but a better arm too, it is hard to imagine he would not be selected for the next level. As far as rounds go, however, it remains to be seen where Beathard will land. Largely dependent on the 2017 draft’s QB class as a whole, Beathard could go in the first round or as late as the third round.

George Kittle

No list would be complete without a mention of George Kittle. Hungry, ambitious and explosive, Kittle could easily be making an NFL debut at the end of next year. Although he was formerly a skinny wheel-route option at tight end, he has since developed into an immense and intimidating physical presence. While he may be overshadowed in the media by Beathard and King, that is not to discredit his abilities in the slightest. In fact, I may even go so far as to say he could give Jake Butt on Michigan a run for his money when it comes to first team All-Big Ten this coming December.

Needless to say, I am ecstatic to see what this fall brings. Tailgating at the Magic Bus, screaming I-O-W-A at the top of my lungs, and victoriously singing along to “In Heaven there is no beer,” has never seemed so sweet.

Des Moines, Iowa, Andrei Murphy

Four Must-Do’s in Des Moines

When most people hear of Iowa, they often conjure up images of slow-talking conversationalists, wide open plains, and one-horse towns. Yet, while certainly some of Iowa is primarily rural, there is a vivacious and cosmopolitan pulse of life that courses through the state’s veins. It beats with the culture of Broadway and the taste of wineries. It pulsates with vibrant zoos and innumerable restaurants. In order to prove it to you, I have decided to list some attractions that all-too-often slip under the radar.

Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo is truly a hidden gem that really does not receive the publicity it deserves. Located at 7401 SW 9th street, Blank Park boasts an extensive list of exotic exhibitions, showcasing everything from African Lions to Siberian Tigers, from Chilean flamingos to Boa Constrictors. Additionally, it is involved in an abundance of conservation efforts as listed here, demonstrating Blank Zoo’s commitment to not just animals, but the surrounding community as well.

Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair is a whirlwind of activity with something for everyone. With events like the Greater Iowa RV show, the Iowa Horse Fair, and the Mid-America Cage Bird Society Feather Fair, one will never be at a loss for something to do. Take a stroll and taste some of Iowa’s finest cuisine while looking upon traditional wood chain carved sculptures. Just make sure you don’t forget to visit the butter cow sculpture, an integral facet of Iowa State Fair History.

Terrace Hill

Take a trip to the governor’s mansion to fully appreciate some of Des Moines’ finest residential architecture. The building boasts an immaculate and extensive history, having played home to Iowa politicians for upwards of a century. Schedule your tour through the website to ensure you can fully appreciate the history and everything Terrace Hill has to offer. At only 5$ per person, there is no better deal in the state.

Prairie Meadows

If you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping a bit, I would recommend taking advantage of Prairie Meadows. Boasting a casino, a hotel, horse races, and constant live entertainment, Prairie Meadows is always guaranteed to be a good time. Not to mention, there is an excess of wonderful restaurants that would satisfy even the strictest food critic.

Truth be told, Iowa is full of wonderful surprises. It is a booming metropolis with a small-town vibe. It is a sophisticated cultural center and a testament to rural tradition. It is home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Iowa, Football, Andrei Murphy

Hawkeye Football F’16

With Fall fast approaching, one thing is certain. College football is coming. Recruits are signing their letters of intent and various hype-videos are permeating the internet. Packed stadiums full of screaming fans waiting for displays of hyper-athleticism lie just around the corner. But more importantly, University of Iowa football is shaping up to look like the Big Ten powerhouse we have come to expect.

First and foremost: playmakers. Let’s take a closer look at the prospective class of recruits the Hawkeyes have managed to rake together so far. Clearly, the most significant addition to the Iowa lineup comes in the form of Nathan Stanley. A spectacular athlete, Stanley has managed to excel in not only football, but basketball and baseball as well. Averaging over 25 points per game in basketball and throwing a fastball quicker than 90 mph, Nathan Stanley relishes competition. Although his exposure could be considered limited, relative to other national quarterback prospects, he ended up being ranked as number 14 in the country according to  Despite a clear affinity for athleticism, there is more to Stanley.

He commands the area around him with the confidence of an experienced professional. Quick-decision making and pristine throwing efficiency culminate together to propel Stanley to the forefront of most sought after quarterbacks in the country. He remains humble despite his astounding skill set, and gets along well with those around him. Stanley is a quarterback heavily recruited for good reason.

Let us not forget newly signed Amani Hooker. At 6’1, 200 lbs, this safety from Minnesota has distinguished himself with a stellar high school senior season. Breaking a school record for eleven interceptions, five of which were pick sixes, he starred on offense for Park Center High School in addition to his defensive position. While Hooker certainly has a prevalent knack for jumping routes, he is also able to capitalize on what happens when the ball finds itself in his hands. Combining deft agility and a player awareness that is second to none, Hooker is a premium prospect of the highest caliber.

Bound to make an impact of his own is Cedrick Lattimore. With the Hawkeyes having lost Nate Meier and possibly Drew Ott, it is apparent that Iowa needs some fresh blood at the defensive end. Thankfully, that is where Lattimore comes in. As a four star prospect from Detroit who rejected Michigan State, Cedrick Lattimore is a player to watch.

With the Hawkeye football season right around the corner, excitement and rumors are circulating in full force. However, no matter what is said, it is clear that the University of Iowa is going to make waves in the coming season. Prepare yourself and make way for I-O-W-A.

P.S. If you’re looking to study up on some Iowa traditions, here’s a great resource.



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