Kyler Murray already makes more money than numerous high-profile athletes, and he has a long Major League Baseball career ahead of him. It’s only fitting he finishes his time at Oklahoma as the starting quarterback, right?
After a quarterback race that was closer than many thought, Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley announced Murray will be the signal caller under center when No. 7 Oklahoma hosts Florida Atlantic on September 1.
Murray, a redshirt junior, beat out redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall for the starting role to replace 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and 2018 NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.
Riley, the second-year coach who went 12-2 with a College Football Playoff berth after replacing the legendary Bob Stoops last season, told both quarterbacks of the decision Wednesday morning.
“Kyler did a really nice job in camp,” said Riley, who directed OU to a 12-2 record last year in his debut season as head coach. “It was really a great competition between Austin and him, one that we carried on longer than maybe even we expected because of how well both guys played. There weren’t a lot of differentiating factors in the end because both did play so well and so efficiently, but just felt like from an overall perspective that Kyler was just a little bit ahead.
We feel like we’ve got a great quarterback tandem there and we’re really proud of the way that Austin has improved through the redshirt year last year and during camp. We’re excited for Kyler and his opportunity and the team looks forward to getting ready for FAU.”
A 5-foot-10, 195-pound quarterback, Murray, who started his career at Texas A&M after starring at Allen High School in Allen, Texas, was OU’s primary backup last season, completing 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns in seven games. He also ran 14 times for 142 yards.
Kendall, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback from Waxhaw, N.C., slides into the backup role with Murray starting and Mayfield now with the Cleveland Browns, and will definitely be the frontrunner to start for the Oklahoma Sooners in 2019.
For now, though, he will have to wait.
There’s no doubt Murray will be a big-time MLB prospect next year after being selected ninth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, but the former national high school football player of the year in 2014 has some business to take care of in Norman, Oklahoma first.