Kyler Murray could very well be the next dual-threat dynamo to star as a college quarterback, and now the 5-star recruit has decided to commit to the Texas A&M Aggies for the next stage of his promising career.
Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News broke news of Murray's commitment on Wednesday:
Kyler Murray chooses Texas A&M over Oregon.— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) May 28, 2014
Murray spoke about his decision via Zwerneman:
Kyler Murray on why A&M: "The relationship I have with the coaches. I felt most comfortable there. The offense they run."— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) May 28, 2014
Kyler Murray on competing with other young QBs at A&M: I wouldn't have gone there if I didn't think I had a chance (to compete).— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) May 28, 2014
Kyler Murray: Oregon is predicated off of the read option. I felt more comfortable in A&M's offense.— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) May 28, 2014
Zwernemen also reported that Murray got some help making his choice from a famous former Aggie:
Kyler Murray said Johnny Manziel was very helpful in his decision to attend A&M, and was extremely positive toward A&M.— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) May 28, 2014
Any premier program would have been pleased to welcome Murray to the fold thanks to his unique talents throwing the football and beating defenses with his feet. The pride of Allen High School in Texas could only choose one destination, though, and the Aggies have to be thrilled to have him.
According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Murray is the No. 1-rated dual-threat QB prospect and the No. 23 overall recruit in the class of 2015. As a junior, he threw for 3,669 and 46 touchdowns and scampered for 1,274 yards and 19 additional scores.
Murray's father, former Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray, runs the Air 14 Quarterback Academy and has evidently done an excellent job drilling his son on fundamentals. That should help ease Murray's transition to the college game on the field, as well as how to handle expectations and responsibilities away from it.
To give an idea of what Murray brings to the gridiron, one good comparison ironically rests in a recent Heisman Trophy winner: ex-Aggies superstar Johnny Manziel.
The chief and perhaps only significant concern about Murray—though it's a big one—is his diminutive stature. At 5'11" and 170 pounds, questions remain about his ability to absorb punishment in college. It does help that he's elusive and speedy, but he must put on more weight now that he'll soon be facing bigger, stronger and faster athletes.
What helps a lot is that Murray has already faced top-notch competition in high school and has thrived under the pressure.
Allen won the Texas 5A Division 1 state championship in Murray's sophomore and junior campaign, prompting this appropriate analysis from Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.com:
On Murray's 247Sports profile, key attributes are rated on a scale of one to 10. Although he gets just a four for his size, Murray is also rated a perfect 10 on intangibles and receives scores of nine on accuracy, pocket presence, release, footwork and elusiveness.
That combination of skills should make Murray a force and perhaps an immediate starter if he can pack on an extra 15 pounds or so. Many mobile quarterbacks struggle with footwork and throw off platform, but that isn't a problem for the technically sound Murray, whose mechanics are further along at such an early stage of his career and should set him up for future success when his frame begins to fill out.
There aren't any holes to poke in Murray's game. His release is clinical, and despite his limited size, he still has a strong enough arm to make any throws required. Plus, when he's carrying the ball, he looks like a running back but has shown the ability to avoid big hits.
Murray is cerebral and has already shown that he can work through progressions and deliver on time and to the right spots. All of his skills translate well to any offense he runs, and he's equally dangerous from the pocket as he is as a ball-carrier. It is truly rare for that to be the case, but such is the truth when it comes to Murray and his incredible talent.
How will Kyler Murray fare as a college QB?
"Wherever I go, I’ll be able to play [both]," said Murray, per an April 2 report by The Dallas Morning News' Greg Riddle.
Jameis Winston was able to win the Heisman and national title at Florida State as a freshman, and he also plays baseball. However, he and Murray are very different cases, since these two-sport superstars come along so rarely.
As long as he stays focused enough on football, gets into the weight room and bulks up without sacrificing any agility or breakaway speed, there's no doubt Murray will shine. He has the polish to be a Heisman Trophy contender at some point in college and the upside to be one of the better collegiate QBs in recent history.
Imagine how dangerous Murray will be with a little extra meat on his bones and perhaps an inch or two of growth, which is still possible at this point (he's not yet 17). Rarely does a quarterback display this much of a complete package so young, so the Aggies fanbase has to be thrilled that Murray is arriving with a ton of pedigree yet with room to become even better.