Kyler Murray…MLB or NFL?
February 7, 2019
In the 2018 MLB Draft, the Oakland Athletics took a chance on Kyler Murray as a high risk, high reward prospect out of Oklahoma. Murray had a great 2018 baseball season, but at the time he was drafted by the A’s, he was preparing for a football season with the Sooners. Murray signed a $4.66 million signing bonus with the A’s knowing he would be playing football in the fall. There were lofty goals for Kyler’s 2018 football season, but having a record-setting statistical output and earning a Heisman trophy were not the expectations. His magical 2018 football season tapped into his heart the love for football and the lessons and challenges it presents. It prompted Kyler to submit the paperwork to enter the NFL draft on Friday, January 14th. Murray has informed the Oakland Athletics of his intention to follow his heart to the NFL, where many project him to be a high-end first round draft pick.
Coming out of high school, Murray was the #1 dual threat QB recruit and was committed to Texas A&M. In 2016, he transferred to the University of Oklahoma to pursue his gifts in both baseball and football. It was a big decision, but he surely made the right one as he showed his incredible talents for both sports with the Sooners.
In the 2018 baseball season, Murray compiled a .296 batting average, ten home runs, 47 RBI’s and a .398 on base percentage for the Sooners. Murray excelled on the baseball diamond, but he dominated in football. Playing football for Oklahoma this season, Kyler compiled 5,362 total yards, 42 pass touchdowns, seven interceptions, and rushed for 12 more touchdowns, earning a well deserved Heisman trophy in a statistically historic season. Although he has thrived playing both sports in the last year, continuing with both at a professional level would be nearly impossible. Clearly, the decision between the MLB and NFL is a difficult one for Kyler Murray.
Former two-sport stars Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders expressed their advice to Kyler during his decision process. Sanders stated that “Life won’t allow him to play both, considering his position as a quarterback. If I was in his shoes, I’m picking up the baseball bat and not looking back.” He added that the ridicules and commitment to being an NFL quarterback are more strenuous than playing baseball. An All-Star in both baseball and football, Bo Jackson simply said that “I can’t tell the man what to do, but whatever sport he chooses is the sport he needs to concentrate fully on.”
Since the two-sport star has now declared for the NFL draft, it is intriguing to see what NFL teams will do with his potential. Murray has all the traits to be an elite quarterback in the NFL, but his small frame is a major issue projecting into the NFL. He is the shortest QB to enter the NFL draft since former Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie in 1985 who was 5’10’’. In addition, teams may not be 100% sold on his commitment to either sport, raising another flag in the drafting process.
Rye student and content creator of the @thedbs1 sports page Dominic Sculti allows that “this is the most polarizing prospect to come into the NFL draft in years. With Murray, you can pretty much disregard all the ‘norms’ of your prototypical NFL quarterback. His rare combination of an electrifying skillset and playmaking ability will have a QB-needy team ready to pounce early in round one. An incredible athlete to say the least, Murray is only 5’9’’ and 195 pounds. Can he last in the NFL?”
Both the NFL and MLB are begging for Kyler to join their league, as he is one of the most popular prospects of all-time. Fans are curious to see how his incredible athletic abilities, despite his size, translate into both professional sports.
Kyler most recently said on an NFL Network interview ahead of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, that he would make his professional sports decision “soon.” His decision could alter how future two-sport stars make their professional selection. Kyler Murray’s decision is certainly one of the most intriguing choices in the last sports decade. There will either be euphoric MLB joy in Oakland or triumphant fist pumps across the NFL.