Two-sport college star Kyler Murray announces he will enter the NFL Draft
Oklahoma American football and baseball star Kyler Murray has sparked a wave of interest after announcing his move to enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
Murray, who doubled up as the star quarterback with the Oklahoma Sooners college football team as well as an outfielder of the Sooners' baseball team, has already been drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Oakland Athletics.
But Murray's star performances at quarterback have led to a host of plaudits, and the 21-year-old won the prestigious Heisman Trophy, the annual award given to the best player in college football that year.
Despite signing a pre-contract with the A's, Murray's options remain open and, despite his agent previously stating his man would not play in the NFL, the two-sport collegiate star announced on Tuesday his intention to enter the 2019 NFL Draft, which starts on Friday April 26 in Nashville, Tenessee.
I have declared for the NFL Draft.— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 14, 2019
Murray announced his intention to enter the NFL Draft via his social media, sparking a surge in interest in the 21-year-old, who has already been tipped for stardom in the NFL.
Draft experts in the US have projected Murray as a potential first-round draft pick and, with a host of struggling NFL sides looking for a new quarterback, Murray may land himself a starting job in his rookie year.
Murray earned a $4.66 million signing bonus when he joined the Athletics, a sum that he would be required to return should he opt to switch to the NFL.
But it is generally accepted that Murray would earn more money in the NFL as a first-round draft pick than he is set to earn with the A's.
While Murray's on-field play has been exemplary, the young prospect did have off-field issues to address when, the day after he won the Heisman Trophy, it was revealed he had posted tweets as a 15-year-old that contained an anti-gay slur.
Murray apologized for the tweets via social media, saying:
"I apologize for the tweets that have come to light tonight from when I was 14 and 15.
"I used a poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe.
I apologize for the tweets that have come to light tonight from when I was 14 and 15. I used a poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe. I did not intend to single out any individual or group.— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) December 9, 2018
"I did not intend to single out any individual or group."
Murray's announcement has sent the American sporting media into a frenzy, as pundits and publications debate the Oklahoma man's next move.
Some believe Murray is using the NFL Draft as leverage to earn himself a bigger payday in Major League Baseball, while others simply believe he feels the NFL is where his sporting future lies.
Murray himself hasn't fully committed to either path, but if he follows through his intention to enter the NFL Draft, and takes part in the NFL Scouting Combine that precedes it on February 26 in Indianapolis, all eyes will be on him as he showcases his skills in front of the NFL's top talent scouts.