New York (AFP) – Kyler Murray, a college star in both baseball and American football, said Monday he will pursue his dream of becoming an NFL quarterback rather than consider playing Major League Baseball.
The 21-year-old Oklahoma University student, who also played outfielder on the diamond, was the ninth overall pick in last year’s Major League Baseball Draft by the Oakland A’s and would have been expected to report to training camp by Friday.
Murray, who also won the Heisman Trophy last year as the top college player in American football, instead walked away from a $4.33 million (3.84 million euros) baseball contract and took to Twitter to announce his career decision.
“Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray tweeted.
“Football has been my love and passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100% of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships.”
Murray will take part in the NFL Combine, an analysis of upcoming talent, that begins on February 26 at Indianapolis with an eye toward the first round of the NFL Draft on April 25.
Should he be among the top picks in the NFL Draft, Murray would be looking at a contract in the $20 million to $30 million range.
“I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews,” Murray tweeted.
“I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”
The A’s met with Murray last month in Dallas to try and entice him into a baseball career. They will not receive compensation for losing Murray to the NFL but would retain his baseball rights should he ever change his mind.