OU Quarterback Gets Selected in Top 10 of MLB Draft
It's not Baker Mayfield, even though he probably believes he could play shortstop and hit .400 in the majors. It's the next OU quarterback that was drafted.
Kyler Murray was a coveted football and baseball recruit coming out of high school who committed to Texas A&M.
After mediocre success, he transferred to Oklahoma because the Big 12 is the premiere conference in America. Murray was the backup to Baker Mayfield in 2017 when Mayfield won the Heisman and a third Big 12 title in a row. He patiently waited for his chance while playing baseball for the Sooners baseball team.
Coming out of high school the 5'10", 5-star quarterback was also the number one shortstop in Texas. By the time he cracked the lineup for Oklahoma in 2018, he was a stud center fielder with plus defense and a big stick.
Murray hit .296 with a .398 on-base percentage and 10 home runs. It's not the offensive outburst that you see from the Red Raiders sticks, but in an inferior lineup with elite defensive skills at two premium positions, the Oakland Athletics took a chance drafting Murray with the ninth overall pick in the draft.
Now everyone has some decisions to make. According to MLB.com, $4,761,500 is the maximum amount that Kyler Murray can sign for to head straight to the MLB and not pass go, or play football, for Lincoln Riley.
Of course, Lincoln Riley wants Kyler Murray to play football for the Sooners. With a dismal spring from his quarterbacks without Murray there full-time, there isn't a ton of confidence at finding Baker's replacement without Murray on campus in Norman.
There's a precedent for a player to sign with a major league team and continue to play football in the NCAA. Because you can be a professional in one sport and an amateur in another because the NCAA always makes sense.
Former Red Raider Bradley Marquez was drafted in the 16th round in the MLB draft and forfeited over two-thirds of his signing bonus to work out a deal where he could still play football in the fall and return to the baseball team in the summer. There's a huge difference in the top 10 picks overall and the middle of the 16th round, however.
There's also a difference between a 5'10" quarterback who is going to run the read option, and a 6' receiver who hasn't touched the ball more than 12 times in a game.
Whatever Kyler Murray chooses will have a huge impact, but the most immediate impact would be choosing to sign with the A's and not returning to Lincoln Riley and the Sooners. It would make the chances of a Sooners four-peat a lot less likely.
In my mind, there are three options.
Option number one: Kyler Murray doesn't sign at all and plays another year of Football and Baseball for Oklahoma.
Option number two (the one I would totally choose): Kyler Murray goes straight to the pros and makes it rain cash money all over Norman on his way.
Option number three: Murray works out a deal with the A's to take a cut of the signing bonus and joins the winter league whenever Oklahoma gets beat in the Alamo Bowl next season.
I can't wait for this decision.