Kyler Murray appears headed toward a career in professional football.
The 84th Heisman Trophy winner and former Oklahoma quarterback is on the NFL’s official list of invitees to the annual scouting combine, another sign that he’ll continue to put pro baseball on hold.
Being invited to the combine, however, doesn’t mean a prospect definitely will participate. Murray was mum on the topic last week during interviews from Atlanta and has maintained bargaining leverage by playing coy every time he’s been asked which sport he prefers.
Murray was one of eight Sooners invited to Indianapolis this year, joining running back Rodney Anderson, wide receiver Marquise Brown, offensive tackle Bobby Evans, offensive tackle Cody Ford, offensive guard Ben Powers, offensive lineman Dru Samia and placekicker Austin Seibert.
Murray was the ninth overall pick in the first round of last year’s Major League Baseball Draft and signed a contract with the Oakland A’s that would pay him a $4.67 million signing bonus and allow him to play the 2018 football season for the Sooners. Murray, however, hasn’t received the entire bonus, and some reports say if he goes to the NFL, he would have to pay back what he’s already received.
It seems likelier, though, that Murray and his representation would continue to negotiate for the possibility of playing baseball, either part time or in the future.
Baseball spring training begins on Feb. 15. The combine begins Feb. 26.
OU is one of seven schools with eight combine invitees. Alabama and Clemson have 11 each, and Ohio State has 10, while Georgia, Ole Miss and Washington each have nine.
Oklahoma State had two players invited: defensive end/linebacker Jordan Brailford and running back Justice Hill.
Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “The Franchise Drive” every weeknight from 6-8 on The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and appears throughout the day on other shows on The Franchise. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Hoover also covers the Big 12 for Sporting News and Lindy’s magazine and is a feature writer for Sooner Spectator magazine. Visit his personal page at johnehoover.com. 000