The departure of Baker Mayfield and other starters after the 2017 season left the sooner nation with a lot of question marks about the 2018 season, most of all being: who will be the starting quarterback for 2018? There has been a quarterback battle between backups Kyler Murray and Austin Kendall this offseason to see who will win the starting QB job, and all signs point to Murray being the starter. But should they?
Murray and Kendall battled for a half of football during OU’s Spring Game on April 14. Murray was 11 of 21 for 85 yards while rushing 9 times for 35 yards. Kendall went 11 of 18 for 134 yards and 1 touchdown and 1 red-zone interception.
In high school, Murray was the most dominant high school football player in the country, leading the Allen Eagles to 3 straight state championships and a 43-0 record during his tenure as a starter. Murray was ranked the #1 dual threat QB in the nation and was given a 5-star rating by 247Sports coming out of high school. The only potential problem for Murray is he could potentially get drafted early in the MLB Baseball Draft in June.
Murray has been regarded by MLB Pipeline: Top 100 Baseball Prospects as the No. 36 overall prospect for this summer’s MLB Draft. Murray is hitting .292 with a slugging percent of .513, but leads the Sooners in home runs and stolen bases. Murray’s athletic ability is what makes him so appealing as a baseball prospect. If he is picked in the MLB Draft anywhere near No. 36, it would likely come with a 7-figure signing bonus, based on 2017 figures.
With a future that is obviously much brighter on the baseball side, it’s hard to not think Murray could possibly leave OU for the MLB. Head Coach Lincoln Riley says the race between Kendall and Murray is, “neck and neck,” but don’t be surprised if Kendall comes out on top with all that Murray has on his plate.