It has been clear for some time that Kyler Murray will play football at Oklahoma this fall. His plans beyond that, though, were not official.
On Friday, they will be.
That's when, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser, Murray will sign with a professional baseball contract with the Oakland Athletics that allows him to play football at OU in 2018. He will not play for the Sooners as a redshirt senior in 2019 as part of his deal, Slusser's report says.
Murray, two-sport athlete who broke onto the baseball scene this spring with a .296 batting average, 10 home runs, 13 doubles, 47 RBIs and 46 runs, is the frontrunner to become OU’s next starting quarterback.
OU football coach Lincoln Riley told KWTV's Dean Blevins this week that Murray will "have an option to do whatever he wants to do after [this fall], with football still being an option as well." The open-ended comment left some wondering if Murray was somehow trying to finagle his way into playing for the Sooners in 2019.
But that's not the case according to Slusser, who reports Murray is due at Oakland’s training camp in Mesa, Arizona, when workouts begin in spring 2019. The story also states Murray and the A’s possess insurance plans in the case Murray were to sustain a major injury playing football this fall, and that after signing Friday, he will be introduced at Oakland Coliseum.
Murray was picked ninth overall by Oakland in the MLB draft. His deal is reportedly worth close to the $4,761,500 slot value for that pick.
He was the Sooners’ backup quarterback last season, completing 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and rushing for 142 yards in seven games. Though not viewed as a future NFL quarterback because of his size, he is considered the frontrunner at OU to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield.
Still, Murray hasn’t officially earned the 2018 starting job. Riley called the QB race between Murray and Austin Kendall “neck and neck” after the April spring game.