Was informing the Oakland Athletics he wouldn’t be playing Major League Baseball difficult for Kyler Murray?
In short, yes.
“Yeah, just because they invested so much in me,” Murray said during his first public interview since recently announcing his intention to play professional football. He spent roughly 20 minutes with The Ticket’s Corby Davidson and Mike Rhyner ahead of the Davey O’Brien Award presentation on Monday.
The A’s drafted Murray No. 9 overall last June, but after passing for 4,361 yards, running for 1,001 and accruing 54 total touchdowns last fall, he's become a projected NFL first-round pick — perhaps as high as No. 1.
“Obviously [the A’s] were the best throughout this whole process letting me do my own thing, watching me play football from afar. That led me to believe how much I meant to them,” Murray said. “Those are relationships I’ll have forever. At the end of the day, they drafted me and in my heart i’ll always be an A because they took the time to do that.
"Obviously it’s a dream come true to be drafted No. 9 in the first round to them. It was kind of tough. It’s not like breaking up with a girlfriend but it was hard to have that conversation, for sure.”
Murray must now convince a franchise he can be a difference-maker despite standing just 5 foot 10. Size was rarely a hinderance to him at OU, but he continued playing baseball as a safety net in case there was no future in football for him.