Kyler Murray Knew He'd Play Football 'For a While'; Telling A's 'Was Tough'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2019

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 29:  Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks to pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

NFL draft prospect Kyler Murray acknowledged Saturday that informing the Oakland Athletics of his intention to play football rather than baseball weighed heavily on him.

According to ESPN.com's Jake Trotter, Murray revealed he has long been planning to play in the NFL even though he only recently made his decision public: 

"For me, it was something I've known for a while. That organization, being with the A's, was the best possible situation for me just because they were so great throughout the football season, kind of leaving me alone and letting me do my own thing, and at the same time letting me know how much I meant to them and that type of stuff. Telling them was tough."

Murray also made it clear that he is committed to football and has no plans to go back to baseball, saying, "I mean, they can hold out all the hope they want to. I'm going to play football."

The potential NFL first-round pick addressed the media Saturday after he was honored as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner during Oklahoma's 69-67 men's basketball win over Texas:

During the press conference, Murray suggested that his initial commitment to the A's and baseball had to do with the fact that he didn't know if he would be on NFL radars after barely playing college football prior to the 2018 season:

Murray went on to have one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in college football history and gave Oklahoma back-to-back Heisman winners after Baker Mayfield won it the previous year. Murray also led the Sooners to a Big 12 title and a College Football Playoff berth.

He completed 69.0 percent of his passes for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions while rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns as a dual-threat quarterback whom opposing defenses simply couldn't slow down.

Murray was also an excellent baseball player, as he hit .296 with 10 home runs, 47 RBI and 10 stolen bases at Oklahoma last season. That resulted in the Athletics selecting him with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft and giving him a signing bonus worth nearly $5 million.

The A's agreed to let Murray play one more season of football at Oklahoma, but that decision came back to bite them since his performance made him a top NFL prospect.

In his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected that the Jacksonville Jaguars will take Murray with the No. 7 overall pick, making him the second quarterback off the board behind Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins going to the New York Giants at No. 6.

If he chooses to work out, Murray will have a chance to bolster his draft status at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next week.

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