- This season, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray stunned the college football world with Heisman Trophy-calibre play that led the Sooners to the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff.
- Before he became a national sensation, however, Murray was drafted in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft to play centerfield for the Oakland Athletics.
- Murray signed a contract with the A’s but is reportedly still considering submitting his name for this year’s NFL Draft.
- Scott Boras shot down claims that Murray is rethinking his commitment to the A’s, but some reports and comments suggest a career in football is still a possibility.
Kyler Murray led an electric Oklahoma Sooners offence all the way to the College Football Playoff and was named on 92% of all ballots – the third-highest percentage in voting history – en route to taking home the Heisman Trophy.
But as of now, Murray will not be taking his incredible talents to the NFL. Instead, he’s headed to the MLB.
Before Murray became a national sensation by throwing for 4,053 yards during the 2018 regular season, the Allen, Texas, native caught the attention of the Oakland A’s while playing baseball for the Sooners. Oakland took Murray 9th in the 2018 MLB Draft, and he agreed to a contract with a $US4.7 million signing bonus. The A’s even included a stipulation allowing the young quarterback to play one more season of football.
We’re excited that you’re an Oakland Athletic too! ???? pic.twitter.com/ZFJF4A9nx5
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) June 15, 2018
But that still may not be enough.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler, Oklahoma submitted Murray’s name to the College Advisory Committee. That group of evaluators and scouts give underclassmen feedback regarding where they may land in the NFL Draft.
Murray’s appearance on the Sooners’ list of players does not guarantee he will enter the NFL Draft. However, it does indicate a certain level of interest that his baseball agent, Scott Boras, has denied.
“Kyler [Murray] has agreed and the A’s agreed to a baseball contract that gave him permission to play college football through the end of the collegiate season,” Boras told the NFL’s Ian Rapoport. “After that, he is under contract to play baseball. That is not a determination to make. It’s already done.”
But some scouts had a very different impression of Murray’s intentions.
“They [Oklahoma football staff] were pretty sure that he was going to play football, that he was going to finish this year out and that he was going to be ready for the draft,” one scout who visited the school late in the season told Kahler. “I’m sure every scout that went through there wrote him up, because that’s what they were telling you by the end of the season.”
Murray has publicly expressed interest in playing both sports at the highest level but acknowledges that it may not be possible. Kahler cites former Michigan quarterback Drew Henson as a recent athlete who managed to compete at the highest level in both sports. Henson spent three seasons playing minor league baseball before returning to football during the 2004 NFL season.
Neither Henson’s football nor baseball career was particularly illustrious, but Murray could theoretically follow in his footsteps. A team could choose to draft Murray even if he expresses his intention to play baseball this spring. That move would not be too surprising given the dearth of quarterback talent in this year’s draft.
More likely, Murray will be forced to choose. Should he opt to participate in this year’s NFL Draft, Murray would need to submit his name for early entry by January 14. Even though that looming deadline is just a few weeks away, Murray does not seem close to making a decision.
“Well, I mean, I’ve already kinda-as of right now, I’m going to play baseball,” Murray told reporters at a press conference this week. “That’s about it.”
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