With the Baker Mayfield era at Oklahoma in the rearview, the general expectation is that former Texas A&M transfer Kyler Murray is set to take the reins.
Of course, the sample size still remains relatively small, as Murray has attempted just 142 career passes since suiting up for Texas A&M in 2015, with only 21 of those attempts coming as a Sooner, but the upside is undeniable. Of those 21 attempts Murray tossed in 2017, 18 found their targets for 359 yards and 3 touchdowns, and paired with his tremendous ability as a dual-threat talent, there’s plenty of reason for optimism that Oklahoma will be in good hands without Mayfield behind center.
Now having spent the past two seasons learning under Mayfield, who cemented himself as an Oklahoma legend, Murray may be set to not only smooth the transition and provide the Sooners with a quality starting quarterback, but he may be one of the best in the nation, as projected by Sporting News’ Bill Bender ranking Murray No. 18 among all quarterbacks entering the 2018 season.
“Murray — a Texas high school football legend — played too soon at Texas A&M,” Bender said. “But the dual-threat quarterback should be able to unlock that same potential in his first season as a starter after sitting behind Baker Mayfield the last two seasons.”
Will Murray match the productivity Mayfield enjoyed last season, as he set the college football passer efficiency rating record yet again en route to 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns?
That seems quite unlikely, nor should he be expected to.
But in a year in which the Big 12 is expected to be down a bit at the quarterback position, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more premier passer than what Murray is projected to become. That is, of course, unless you’re looking towards Will Grier at West Virginia.
Gone is Mayfield, and gone is TCU’s Kenny Hill and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, opening the door for the next generation of Big 12 gunslingers to make a name for themselves. Save for Grier, it remains entirely undecided as to which passers will separate themselves in 2018, but with more than enough talent on hand and a bevy of weapons surrounding him in Lincoln Riley’s option, there’s arguably no better option to emerge than Murray.