By Michael Kinney
After weeks of speculation and chatter, Kyler Murray set the record straight. The former Oklahoma quarterback announced Monday that he was no longer pursuing a career in professional baseball. His eyes are squarely on the NFL.
“Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray posted to social media. “Football has been my love and passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100% of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships.”
Last year Murray was drafted in the first round of the MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics. After he signed a $4.7 million contract, it had been assumed he would play one year for the Sooners before heading off to pursue his baseball career.
However, after leading OU to another birth in the College Football Playoffs, settings numerous offensive records and winning the Heisman, Murray had a change of heart.
According to reports, Murray will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million signing bonus money the A’s gave him last year. He forfeits the rest of the money from the contract. However, Oakland will put him on the restricted list and retain his rights,
Despite being anywhere from 5-8 to 5-10, Murray has been projected a first round selection in the upcoming NFL draft. If he is chosen, Murray will become the first player in history to be drafted in the first round of both the MLB and NFL drafts.
Murray is expected to attend the upcoming NFL Combines which will be held Feb. 26-March 4 Indianapolis.
“I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews,” Murray said. “I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”
While the prospect of Murray playing in the NFL is a relatively new thought for many football fans, it’s one former OU coach Bob Stoops felt early on.
“The second we watched him on tape. First of all, I recruited him out of high school and wasn’t successful there. But he did come with us a year or two later,” Stoops said in a radio interview.
Stoops, who is now the head coach and General Manager of the Dallas based XFL franchise told the story of the discussion he and Lincoln Riley had before Murray came to Oklahoma.
“We were watching Kyler and a couple other players who wanted to transfer to Oklahoma as quarterbacks. There were three of them. We were all in a room together… and we’re watching them all and evaluating how they would fit our system,” Stoops said. “We liked all three of them. Lincoln eventually said, ‘They’re all good, they can all help us, but Kyler can be a Heisman Trophy winner if he comes to Oklahoma.’ That is what he said. Before [Kyler] even transferred in. If he can be a Heisman winner, he can be a pro football player.”
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider