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Star athlete Kyler Murray chooses baseball over football

Murray opts out of football career right after winning Heisman.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Last night, quarterback Kyler Murray won college football’s Heisman award after an outstanding season with the University the Oklahoma.

This morning, baseball agent Scott Boras told NFL insider Ian Rapoport that Murray will pursue a career in baseball, and will transition away from focusing on football.

For those who need a little background, here you go. Murray is a fabulous athlete who excels at both baseball and football at the University of Oklahoma. This past June, the Oakland Athletics selected Murray early in the first round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft for his amazing baseball skills.

Shortly after the draft, reports came out saying that Murray’s contract with Oakland required Murray to commit to playing full seasons with Oakland, if he were to sign it. He did. However, up until recently both Boras and Murray were still undecided as to whether or not Murray would focus on one or two sports. Murray was having an amazing football season, and he didn’t need a distraction to interfere with his role with Oklahoma.

Last night, Murray became just the second player ever to get drafted by an MLB team and win the Heisman trophy. Bo Jackson is the only other person to ever do so. En route to edging out Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa by 218 votes for the Heisman last night, Murray’s strong season with Oklahoma featured him passing for 4,053 yards over 13 games with 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions, posting a 205.7 passing efficiency rate.

Before everyone woke up this morning, Ian Rapoport was busy tweeting about the inactives for the the Sunday set of games in the NFL, when he shared his tweet with the article where Boras told him that Murray is baseball-bound. However, it isn’t strictly a decision based on which sport Murray likes more. Boras confirmed to Rapoport that Murray’s contract does indeed prohibit him from playing professional football.

“Kyler has agreed and the A’s agreed to a baseball contract that gave him permission to play college football through the end of the collegiate season,” Boras told Rapoport on a phone call. “After that, he is under contract to play baseball. That is not a determination to make. It’s already done.”

Whether or not Murray wants to play baseball over football is unclear. It’s obvious he would be selected in the NFL draft, but he already agreed to play baseball, so, for now, that’s what he’ll do.

As a baseball player, Murray is an outfielder. In his 2018 collegiate season, as a senior, he slashed .296/.398/.556 over 189 at bats in 51 games, scoring 46 times while knocking in 47 runs over 56 hits, including 10 home runs. He walked 28 times and struck out 56 while stealing 10 bases on 14 attempts.

The Athletics took a big risk by drafting Murray, who could have easily committed to football. Instead, he has vowed to play baseball, and now Oakland is rewarded with a very talented outfielder in their farm system.