Oklahoma Sooners star quarterback Kyler Murray has officially chose to focus on football going forward, leaving nearly $5 million on the table from the Oakland Athletics who drafted him 9th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft.
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link), the A's still intend to engage with Murray's camp as his National Football League draft journey begins. He then played quarterback for Oklahoma last fall and posted the second-best passing efficiency rating in FBS history. He helped Oklahoma win a Big 12 title and reach the College Football Playoff while becoming the second consecutive Sooner to win the Heisman Trophy. Thanks to his decision, he will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million bonus and forfeit the remaining $3.16 million.
Kyler Murray made it official today, announcing he's all in on being an NFL QB.
Those numbers eclipsed former Sooners team-mate and fellow Heisman victor Baker Mayfield, who was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 National Football League draft.More news: Michelle Obama gets raucous applause at Grammy Awards
Although NFL talent evaluators gravitate toward taller quarterbacks, the success of stars such as Russell Wilson (at 5-11) and Baker Mayfield (generously listed at 6-1) have caused some NFL scouts to reconsider that preference.
"We took the best athlete on the board and who we thought was probably the best baseball player on the board, too", Athletics general manager David Forst said. After working out a deal in which he would play his final year of football at Oklahoma, Murray was supposed to then to focus on baseball.
"Quarterback is a very demanding position, as is being a Major League baseball player", said Billy Beane, Oakland's executive vice president of baseball operations. "Something like that is something that is part of our private discussions".
Herbstreit also gave a warning to teams that might pass on Murray. Until Monday. Now, Murray will turn his sights toward becoming a first-round choice in the April NFL draft.