Oklahoma Sooner fans breathed a sigh of relief with last week’s AP Top 25 Football Podcast where Lincoln Riley explained his confidence that Kyler Murray would remain with the football team.
I don’t really have any concerns with it. Kyler and I have had some good, private conversations about it and I am comfortable where he and his family are at with it. I think he’s comfortable where we are at with it, so we’ll proceed and certainly expect to have him. -Riley
Much of the uncertainty lies with Murray’s stock as an MLB draft prospect. There has been much discussion that Murray could be a first-round draft pick and earn quite the handsome signing bonus. The fear for Sooner fans is that Murray, while an extremely talented quarterback, is undersized and at this point does not project as high as an NFL prospect.
Even still, while many in baseball circles agree with Murray’s talent, they don’t think he is signable.
Jim Callis – Senior Writer for MLB Pipeline (MLB.com)
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) May 21, 2018
David Hood – Covers MLB Amateur Draft for @truebluela
Kyler Murray is Oklahoma’s top draft prospect, it’s really not that close, and he’s probably impossible to sign.
— David Hood (@davidchood) May 18, 2018
The main culprit of Murray’s “unsignability” lie with his football aspirations. Many believe, while he is a top-50 pick, Murray’s love and dedication to the Sooner football program will keep him away from professional baseball next season.
“There’s always rumors out there that he’s got a price tag that he would forego football for,” d1baseball.com managing editor Kendall Rogers told The Dallas Morning News. “But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that you put that much time into football and then get your number and say, ‘I’m done with it.’
Murray began his football career at Texas A&M in 2015 before transferring to Oklahoma in December. Baker Mayfield was then able to receive an extra year of eligibility in 2017, forcing Murray to the bench one extra year.
“I haven’t talked to anyone who thinks he’s waited this long, that he would just walk away right now,” Callis told DallasNews Sportsday. “If he wanted to be paid handsomely to play baseball, he could have done that out of high school three years ago.”
With Mayfield gone to the NFL, many expect Murray to be the heir apparent to run Riley’s offense. He has been able to showcase his talents in mop-up duty and some special packages against Ohio State and in the Rose Bowl last year.
Oklahoma and Murray project to succeed in the wake of Mayfield’s departure.
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) May 17, 2018
— Sooners Blog (@uoklasports) May 15, 2018
If the Sooners keep their projected starter at quarterback, Oklahoma will be one of the favorites to come out of the Big 12 and perhaps a dark horse for the College Football Playoff.