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Eric Kubota: A's 'Totally on Board' with Kyler Murray's Desire to Play QB at OU

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2018

FILE - In this April 14, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) passes during an NCAA college football spring intrasquad game in Norman, Okla. Oklahoma’s quarterback competition took an unexpected twist at the Major League Baseball draft. Murray, the favorite to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield this season as Oklahoma’s starter, was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Oakland Athletics took a chance by selecting dual-sport star Kyler Murray with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft on Monday night, but to them, the risk is worth the possible reward.

Oakland scouting director Eric Kubota noted, via ESPN's Jake Trotter, that the team understands its top selection could choose football over baseball: "The risk of football was outweighed by the upside on the baseball field. ... We were totally on board with his desire to play quarterback at Oklahoma. Frankly, we're kind of excited to be Oklahoma fans."

With Baker Mayfield gone to the NFL, Oklahoma fans were excited to see what Murray could do. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner himself even told Bleacher Report's Matt Hayes that he expects his successor to break all of his Sooners records.

For those Oklahoma fans wondering how the MLB draft may impact the upcoming college football season, it does not appear to have much of an effect.

"I will be playing football this year", Murray said, via Trotter.

After all, the 5'11", 195-pound outfielder-quarterback even transferred to Oklahoma from Texas A&M. With a chance to finally lead the Sooners, it would be a tough opportunity to walk away from.

Susan Sussler of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted that it's unlikely the A's would have taken Murray at No. 9 if they did not already have a deal in place. Given Trotter reported the Sooner "confirmed" he had discussed the situation with Oakland, it's definitely possible the two sides have an agreement.

Murray the baseball player is an intriguing prospect. While he has solid bat speed and some pop, his biggest tool is undoubtedly his defense. The fact that he has been juggling two sports has made it tough to fully develop on the diamond, but the potential is there.

Meanwhile, there's also a lot to like about him on the gridiron. In eight games with the Aggies in 2015, he completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 686 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions; he completed 85.7 percent (18-of-21) for Oklahoma last season, throwing for 359 yards, three touchdowns and zero picks.

Murray has yet to truly prove himself as a quarterback in college football. He has only had limited opportunities after transferring and then serving as a backup. However, the A's are excited to see what he can do on the field—both in football and in baseball.

Sussler pointed out that Murray has until July 15 to sign with the A's.