The Kyler Murray-era at Oklahoma will only last a season if the junior is named the Sooners’ starting quarterback.
Murray reportedly will sign with the Oakland Athletics, who selected the Oklahoma two-sport athlete with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
The team will make the announcement on Friday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.
Murray and the A’s agreed to let the Sooners quarterback play the upcoming season before joining the organization in 2019.
As part of the agreement, Murray will play just one more year of football at Oklahoma, one source said. Murray, who is projected to be Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield’s successor at quarterback, has two years of football eligibility left, but under his deal with Oakland, he will forgo his final season. He will report to the A’s complex in Mesa, Ariz., next spring to begin his full-time baseball career.
Murray, 20, signed for right around the draft-slot value for the ninth overall pick, about $4.6 million.
It’s the best of both worlds for Murray, who will get to prove himself at a major college football program for a year and play professional baseball.
It’s likely the best-case scenario for coach Lincoln Riley, who gets to utilize Murray’s elite speed and throwing ability for one year as opposed to losing him altogether, as well.
What’s next for Oklahoma?
Sophomore quarterback Austin Kendall still could be named the starter when Week 1 arrives. Media and fans have anticipated Murray will get the nod, however, when Oklahoma faces Florida Atlantic on Sept. 1.
Murray’s baseball deal leaves the Sooners likely to face another quarterback battle in 2019.
Kendall, 2018 signee Tanner Mordecai and 2019 commit Spencer Rattler will battle for starting duties in 2019 if Murray starts and plays the entire 2018 season.