Kyler Murray must be considered one of the most accomplished high-school quarterbacks in the country. The 2013 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year is undefeated as a starting quarterback, leading Allen High School to two consecutive state championships.
The 5'11", 170-pound prospect picks up large chunks of yardage on the ground and through the air. Murray accumulated more than 5,600 passing yards and 63 touchdowns during his sophomore and junior seasons, according to 247Sports.
He gives defense fits outside the pocket, picking up more than 2,500 rushing yards and another 44 scores during that span. His tremendous skill set has caught the attention of several standout FBS programs.
Murray currently holds scholarship offers from Ohio State, Clemson, Texas A&M, Florida, Texas, TCU and Arkansas, among others. His father, Kevin Murray, was a star quarterback for the Aggies, so it's no surprise Kevin Sumlin's squad is viewed as a favorite for his services.
His efforts as a playmaker and leader have earned Murray high marks from online recruiting websites. He is rated a 4-star prospect and the nation's No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in 247Sports composite rankings.
Murray has established extremely high expectations while propelling one of America's top high school programs, and his recruitment will unquestionably continue to gain momentum in the coming months. We break down the game tape to examine what makes Murray such a special player and elements of his approach that remain unpolished.
|School||Allen High School|
|Size||5'11", 170 pounds|
|Rankings||No. 3 dual-threat quarterback; No. 39 overall prospect; No. 7 player in Texas|
|Key Offers||Ohio State, Texas, Florida, Clemson, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech|
Murray operates with complete confidence while orchestrating Allen's wide-open offensive attack. He goes through his progressions and rarely looks flustered when given time to operate in the pocket.
His footwork is excellent. The drop-back fundamentals are consistent and set the stage for success when it's time to deliver a dart downfield.
Murray's lower body movement is compact, eliminating unnecessary weight dispersion. Despite his exemplary scrambling abilities, he doesn't show any warning signs of "happy feet" while settled in the pocket, planting his back foot and maintaining square shoulders.
These quality habits are built over time. Murray has clearly invested significant effort into improving his craft and receives excellent coaching from the Allen staff and his father.
When forced outside of the pocket, Murray doesn't take his eyes off the play unfolding in front of him. He isn't reluctant to run, but it's important to see the effort he puts into executing a potential big passing play before resorting to a rushing attempt.
He isn't a burner in the open field but identifies running lanes early and hits them with acceleration. His stature already creates a relatively small target, but Murray is also smart to avoid collisions after he takes off—greatly reducing his risk of receiving a devastating hit from a defender.
The way Murray uses his versatility to attack opposing defenses is immediately reminiscent of former North Carolina State and Wisconsin standout Russell Wilson. Both quarterbacks are undersized, based on classic stature expectations at the position but create opportunities and elongate plays with improvisational skills.
Murray is an accurate passer who routinely delivers the football in spaces that set the stage for significant yards after the catch. He has strides to make in arm strength but can loft the ball deep downfield, even while moving laterally and evading defensive pressure.
He'll be extremely dangerous in a read option approach because of his ability to quickly dissect the progression of a play. Whether he decides to locate a pass target or pull the ball down and run, that lack of hesitancy is huge for a player at this stage of his career.
Obviously some coaches will be wary of his size and wonder how he'll be able to effectively operate behind massive offensive linemen. There's nothing Murray can do about this physical facet aside from proving doubters wrong.
Murray must maintain his development as a passer if he aims to contribute early in college. His ability to deliver downfield strikes is slightly concerning, as he often leaves too much air underneath the football when connecting with a striding receiver.
You can get away with that at the high school level, but collegiate defensive backs will rise up and interrupt the pass attempt when there's too much arc. It's unclear if Murray will ever be the kind of passer who can fire a strike with a flick of his wrist.
His release remains slightly choppy, especially on the back end before his follow-through. This can disrupt the timing of a quick-hit play and allows defenders an increased opportunity to create turnovers on the blitz.
Murray is a capable runner, but his legs alone won't lead him to glory at the next level. There will be fewer opportunities to tally rushing yards, and a more polished approach in the delivery and long-distance passes will go along way toward balancing his overall game.
Murray has the physical tools and mental moxie to lead his teammates on the practice field and in game action. We'll see if he adds a few more inches to his height before college, but the knock on smaller quarterbacks has diminished slightly in recent years, with the emergence of stars like Wilson, Johnny Manziel and Drew Brees.
He's a proven winner and comes up huge in pressure-packed situations. You can't teach clutch and it's a trait Murray comes equipped with.
The pedigree as a passer is apparent and there's no doubt scouts love the fact that his father enjoyed success as a Division I quarterback. Murray may require a year of refinement and weight room work, but he's the kind of prospect who can start and succeed as an underclassman.
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