NORMAN, Okla. – Quarterbacks are often allowed to call their own play. This one, however, may cause some to scratch their head.
Monday, the Oakland A’s selected University of Oklahoma outfielder Kyler Murray with the ninth overall selection in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. When he inks his contract, Murray’s signing bonus will carry a slot value of $4.76 million. While Murray, who hit .296 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs for OU this season, is expected to sign with Oakland – he is unlikely to play a game for the A’s organization until Spring 2019.
The reason? He will still be playing for Oklahoma.
Murray has asked for, and been granted permission, to continue his college football career for at least one more season. The expected starting quarterback for the OU football team this fall, Murray threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in seven games while backing up Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield last season. A consensus five-star recruit out of high school, he was among the top dual threat quarterbacks in the country.
He played in eight games as a true freshman at Texas A&M before transferring to Oklahoma.
“The risk of the football, in our opinion, was outweighed by the upside on the baseball field,” A’s director of scouting Eric Kubota told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re totally on board with his desire to play quarterback at Oklahoma and frankly, we’re kind of excited to be Oklahoma fans for 12 games. That’s not easy for a Cal guy to say.”
In a statement released Tuesday, Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley said he and his staff are excited to have Murray remain a Sooner for at least one more season. “We’re looking forward to getting him back around our team this summer, and he’s excited to get into workouts and help us continue to pursue another championship,” Riley said. “We’re also equally excited for his opportunity with Major League Baseball and being the ninth pick in the draft. It’s a great honor for him and he’s going to have some great options going forward.”