Texas-born athlete Kyler Murray has announced that he has chosen to target a career in the NFL playing American football, over the MLB playing baseball. The 21-year-old was drafted ninth overall by the MLB side Oakland Athletics, who some may know from the film Moneyball, last June.
Murray received a signing-on bonus of $4.66 million by the A’s, of which he will repay or forfeit the majority. After being drafted in the MLB he stayed at Oklahoma University to play a season as their starting quarterback. The incredible talent of this young athlete was clear as he won the Heisman Trophy, given to the best college football player in America that season.
In a Twitter post, Murray answered questions about his future, saying: “I am firmly and fully committing my life to becoming an NFL quarterback. 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.”
“I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews,” added Murray. “I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”
The Oklahoma Sooners finished the season with an impressive 12-2 record with Murray recording some brilliant numbers. He topped the league in passing yards with 4361, along with 1001 rushing yards and a total of 54 touchdowns.
He will be hoping that his consistent performances last season, as well as his results in the NFL combine taking place on the 26th February, will be enough to convince franchises he is good enough. The first round of the draft begins on the 25th April, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr predicts Murray will be a top 5 pick. If Kiper Jr is correct, Murray will be the first player ever to be picked in the first round in both the NFL and MLB.
The general manager of the Oakland Athletics, David Forst, said that he does not regret picking Murray in the draft, even though his side will not receive a compensation draft pick. “We’ve known all along that this was a possibility, we’ve been in constant contact and we knew he had a great option in the NFL.”
“When we knew definitively is not the story here. We’ve known from the tone of the conversations that he could choose the NFL. We’ll focus on what we need to do to make sure that if he comes back to baseball at some point then he’ll come back with the A’s.”