Kyler Murray commits to focusing on NFL

Lynette Rowe
February 12, 2019

"Football has been my love and passion my entire life", Murray added. And with baseball becoming both increasingly expensive, professionalized and hard at the youth level-kids who harbor major league dreams are forced into endless travel ball circuits, highly competitive All-Star leagues and expensive private coaching before they've even reached puberty-it's easy to see those would-be Kyler Murrays choosing football or basketball, too.

Murray is not a carbon copy of Mayfield by any means, but like Mayfield, Murray has the "it" factor and understands how to operate an offense efficiently and has the wherewithal to go off-script when necessary and make big plays.

Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are the highest-profile dual-sport stars, as both played baseball and football at the same time in the 1990s. The move ends a saga that started last June, when the Athletics picked No. 9 in the Major League Baseball draft, and ramped up as Murray put together a Heisman Trophy-winning season as the Sooners' quarterback. He is expected to be a first-round pick in this year's National Football League draft, and this commitment will make it more likely that teams will be willing to commit an early selection to securing his services.

But there is little question Murray has a chance to create a little havoc on draft's Thursday night, and where he might land will be one of the draft's central storylines over the next few months.

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Murray, who was the Athletics' first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, was due to report to spring training this week, but the A's were losing confidence that that actually would happen.

Kyler Murray on September 8, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. "Things have certainly changed since the draft", Beane said. "The situation is fluid right now [based] on a historic college football season that the young man had".

According to ESPN, Murray will have to return $1.29m of his $1.5m signing bonus and will not receive the remaining $3.16m. In fact, he wrote: "I was raised to play QB".

He led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff, throwing for 4,361 yards and rushing for another 1,001. Although the A's were hoping he'd choose baseball, they were increasingly pessimistic the longer his locker in their spring-training clubhouse sat empty.

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