Mizzou’s Golden, Murphy named to preseason watch lists

Missouri defensive end Markus Golden (left) and tailback Marcus Murphy are expected to be among the best players in the country at their respective positions.

Dale Zanine - Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports

If you’re worried about the loss of ends Kony Ealy and Michael Sam from last year’s standout defensive line and of Henry Josey from the running back corps, here is some welcome news: Two guys slated to see a lot of action in their absence already are being touted on a national scale as players to watch.

Senior defensive end Markus Golden, a reserve who saw a lot of action last season, has been named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player. Senior tailback Marcus Murphy also has yet to start a game at Mizzou but is on the watch list for the 2014 Paul Hornung Award, which honors the most versatile player in major-college football.

Golden came off the bench to play in 40 percent of the Tigers’ defensive snaps last season and led his position group in tackles with 55. He recorded 13 tackles for loss, 6 1/2 sacks, eight quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one interception, which he returned 70 yards for a touchdown against Toledo.

Murphy was part of a three-pronged rushing attack last season that included Josey and Russell Hansbrough. An All-SEC second-team selection by league coaches in 2013, Murphy accumulated a team-best 1,425 all-purpose yards while recording 10 touchdowns (nine rushing, one receiving). Murphy ranks eighth all-time in school history with 3,191 career all-purpose yards.