Will It Be Baseball or Football for Kyler Murray?
Posted on June 05 2018
Kyler Murray will forever have a place in the history of Texas high school football. Texas A&M fans may not care to hear much about him since he spurned the Aggies after just one mediocre season. He is currently expected to take over for Baker Mayfield with the Oklahoma Sooners.
But, as it turns out, there may be a problem with that.
As electrifying as his speed and agility are when he scrambles out of the pocket, they serve him even better when he’s playing outfield (played shortstop in high school) for the Oklahoma Sooners baseball team. This season he played in 51 games (started 50) and hit .296 with ten home runs and 47 RBIs. He also stole ten bases (but was caught stealing four times).
But he’s not just an offensive weapon. He had a fielding percentage of .991 this season (that’s not too shabby).
So, yeah, Murray is a pretty good baseball player. Good enough that there is strong chance he could get drafted as early as the second round in the coming draft. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, Murray is the 38th-best prospect in this year’s draft class.
If he is that highly regarded, then the odds are high that he’ll get drafted at some point in the 2018 MLB Draft. Should he get selected where Law ranks him, he’ll get a signing bonus somewhere in the range of $2 million.
Is playing football in college worth passing on $2 million? Or a smaller amount—like $500,000? Sooner head coach Lincoln Riley seems to think Murray will pass on baseball if he’s drafted.
"I knew the deal when we were getting into it. [They have] lived up to their word in every part of it," said Riley (via ESPN).
Riley went on to say that Murray would not be playing summer baseball. He’d be working out with the football team instead. Murray has yet to indicate whether he’d be playing summer baseball or not.
Search for some of Murray’s old high school tape on YouTube, and you’ll see why he was a five-star recruit and why Riley wants to keep him around. Murray is an incredible athlete that is capable of breaking any play wide open at any moment. He’s exciting to watch.
But if you watch any of his tape from Texas A&M, you’ll see that is accuracy is sub-par. He can work on it and get better, of course. However, if he is thinking of skipping baseball because he wants to give football a try, he needs to consider where he is more likely to have a successful professional career.
There are not too many quarterbacks in the NFL (now or in the past) that stood 5’10” and weighed less than 200 lbs. He can put on weight, of course. But then he’ll jeopardize his speed and agility if he puts on too much.
It’s understandable if he leans towards playing football. He grew up in Texas where football is king; it’s in your blood. It’s who you are when you grow up in Texas. You play until they tell you that you can’t. You don’t walk away from football in Texas for another sport.
But at the professional level, baseball is the game that makes sense. Murray's size will mean nothing in baseball. It will, however, severely limit his opportunities in the NFL.
If he’s smart, he’ll take the $2 million and play baseball. If Lincoln Riley cares more about him as a person than a football player, he’ll tell him to play baseball as well.
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