Kyler Murray spurns Athletics, commits to football

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"This guy is fun to watch play football", said Billy Beane, the A's executive vice president of business operations, of Oklahoma's two-sport sensation.

The former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback and 2018 first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics released a statement on Twitter declaring his intent to play in the NFL.

"Football has been my love and passion my entire life", the 2018 Heisman Trophy victor wrote on Twitter.

Not even Denver Broncos general manager John Elway - the first overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft and 52nd overall (second round) pick of the 1981 MLB Draft - can claim that.

Murray, 21, was drafted ninth overall by Major League Baseball side Oakland Athletics in June previous year.

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Minnesota's 18th overall pick could prove pretty valuable if Murray falls in the first round. With as many draft picks as the Patriots have this year no player is off limits, so don't be surprised to see members of the organization checking out Murray over the next few weeks.

Murray's unbelievable season in 2018 at Oklahoma was his first as a full-time starter for them. This isn't the equivalent of Ken Griffey Jr. or Bryce Harper walking away from the game; Murray is hyper-talented but plenty raw-possibly a star, but not a phenom. Murray scored a combined 54 touchdowns, which is tied for the ninth-most in NCAA Division I history. Professional football is no cakewalk itself, but it does offer a better landing spot for his particular skills as a highly mobile and strong-armed passer in a league where that's now all the rage.

Part of that is because they have been linked to Murray in the pre-draft process.

On Monday, Murray tweeted that he is "committing to football". But just as Murray had to weigh the NFL versus MLB, so too will thousands upon thousands of kids in youth leagues or high school or college. Still Forst said, "We'll focus on what we need to do to make sure that if he comes back to baseball at some point, he comes back with the A's".

The NFL Combine begins at the end of February.