Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy tonight. The Oklahoma quarterback led the Sooners to a 12-1 record and a spot in the college football playoff. The spectacular season was unsurprising to anyone who saw him play high school football in Texas, where he was 42-0 as a starting quarterback and won three consecutive state titles along with a slew of other awards.
Prior to this season, Murray’s exploits on the football field had been overshadowed by his Major League Baseball future. He was taken as the ninth overall pick by the Oakland Athletics during this past June’s MLB draft. The selection came before Murray ever took a snap with the Sooners. Despite his obvious athletic prowess on the gridiron, it was assumed that even if he won the starting job at Oklahoma—which wasn’t a given—he would leave football behind to pursue a professional baseball career.
That seemed like the easy decision in June for a number of reasons. At 5-foot-9 and under 200 pounds, Murray’s physical frame seemed more suited for baseball. Also, he already secured a $4.66 million signing bonus with the Athletics—fully guaranteed, even if he never makes the major leagues.
But with a Hesiman trophy and a showdown against a ferocious Alabama team for a shot at a national championship around the corner, his potential for a future in the NFL has changed drastically—making the debate of baseball vs. football a more compelling one. Here are some factors to consider: