By Steven Weldon
A collegiate athlete has given up 1.29 million dollars to pursue a dream, and it's not related to any NCAA sanctions. Kyler Murray has announced that he is declaring for the NFL Draft.
Kyler Murray was a quarterback at the same university.
At that time, Baker Mayfield was starting over him. Mayfield crushed the competition in college, won the prestigious Heisman Trophy, and entered the 2018 NFL Draft.
Oklahoma had no choice but to take the next man up. Kyler Murray still had plans to play baseball after his football career in college was over, so being considered an NFL prospect was reasonable but not a solid bet. It definitely helped that the A's gave him a 1.5 million dollar signing bonus, just one part of an over-arching 4.66 million-dollar minor league deal.
Then Murray took Baker Mayfield's statistics and broke them. Then he helped his team become one of the College Football Playoff Finalist teams. Then, he won the Heisman Trophy. Things became a little murkier.
Murray began to do interviews around the country covering him as a player, whether he was going to play baseball or football, and when he was going to make the decision. The most awkward interview of all time occurred on February 1st, where on The Dan Patrick Show, Murray avoided questions about his football decision as much as he could, but he did mention that he would be attending Oakland Athletics Spring Training.
That appears to be all for naught with his recent announcement. Kyler has given back all but 200K of his signing bonus to the Oakland Athletics, and for now, he is a top prospect for the NFL. Maurice Jones-Drew, of NFL.com, has Murray a projected seventh-overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars. At 5'11", Murray's not the tallest quarterback, but that worked out just fine for Russell Wilson and Drew Brees.
Will Kyler Murray shine in the NFL? The signs point to yes, but there are a lot of factors in play. The first chance to see how his draft stock goes will be at the NFL Scouting Combine, in which workouts for quarterbacks are scheduled for March 2nd. Murray has not announced a Pro Day, as he avoided the question on The Dan Patrick Show, so that is up in the air.
Let's see if this kid can hit a home run with his football career.
Check out the NFL Combine on NFL Network, March 1st-4th. Times for events are TBA.