Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray was picked 9th overall in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft by the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
Murray is the leading candidate to be OU’s starting quarterback next season, but he will be offered millions of dollars to sign with the A’s.
Most observers believe Murray will play football for the Sooners this fall, then take up his pro baseball career following that.
Murray confirmed to reporters late Monday night he plans to play football at OU in 2018 before pursuing his pro baseball career.
Murray found out he had been selected on OU’s flight home from Tallahassee, where they were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by Mississippi State on Monday.
“I found out on the plane and I was blindsided with the news, but I feel blessed, thankful and grateful for the Oakland Athletics selecting me as the ninth pick,” Murray said. “It’s a great opportunity and it’s something I’ve looked forward to my entire life to have a chance to play professional sports.”
Murray becomes the 11th Sooner player drafted in the top ten of the MLB Draft since 1967, and is the highest pick since Jonathan Gray went third overall in 2013.
In 2018, Murray hit .296 with 10 home runs and 47 runs batted in, with 10 stolen bases in 51 games played.
On Tuesday afternoon, OU head coach Lincoln Riley issued a statement about Murray’s selection.
“As Kyler and I discussed prior to the Major League Baseball Draft, we’re excited to have him here with us for this upcoming football season. We’re looking forward to getting him back around our team this summer, and he’s excited to get into workouts and help us continue to pursue another championship. We’re also equally excited for his opportunity with Major League Baseball and being the ninth pick in the draft. It’s a great honor for him and he’s going to have some great options going forward.”
Later Monday, OU outfielder Steele Walker was selected in the second round by the Chicago White Sox as the 46th overall selection.