Kyler Murray had only a few hours to enjoy winning the Heisman Trophy award before he was apologizing for anti-gay posts he put on social media. The Oklahoma quarterback took the award Saturday afternoon in New York City, then that evening old posts on his Twitter account surfaced using the world “queer.”
The posts were made when the 21-year-old was 14 and 15. They were mostly removed by late Saturday night after the story broke. Murray went on CBS’ “The NFL Today” show the following day.
“I was young, (but) I own every single part of it,” Murray said. “I used a poor choice of words. … I learned from it. It’s crucial to me that I move on from it at the same time own up to what I said, and move on and learn from it.”
Future Can Wait
Murray also used the television show appearance to talk about the possibility of playing in the NFL. The junior signed a $4.66 million contract with the Oakland A’s and will be reporting for Spring Training as an outfielder. His desire is to play both sports professionally.
“You’re trying to put me on the spot right now,” Murray said with a laugh, when asked if he is thinking about playing in the NFL. “To be honest, I’m just focused on the College Football Playoff right now. I’m trying to focus on the now … we’ll get to that down the line.”
His agent, Scott Boras, told a reporter earlier in the week that there is no gray area. His contract allowed him to play college football, but not play in the NFL.
“Kyler has agreed and the A’s agreed to a baseball contract that gave him permission to play college football through the end of the collegiate season,” Boras told the NFL Network reporter. “After that, he is under contract to play baseball. That is not a determination to make. It’s already done.”
Bovada posted odds on the possibility he will play both professionally in 2019. The yes is +650 and the no is-1200. They also have a prop bet on whether he will be drafted by an NFL team, with the yes at +400, and the no at -600.
Preparing for Alabama
The amateur football career for Murray has one, possibly two games remaining. No. 4 Oklahoma faces No. 1 Alabama on Dec. 29 in the College Football Playoff Game. The winner would move on to the National Championship on Jan. 7.
The Sooner-Crimson Tide contest will pit the two leading Heisman Trophy candidates. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was the favorite to win the award for most of the year, but saw his chances slip away after a lackluster SEC Championship. He has been bothered by an ankle injury, but said he will be ready by the semifinal game.
Murray began the season as a 25/1 pick to win the award, but was at -270 a week before it was announced, received 517 first-place votes and 2,167 total points to Tagovailoa’s 299 first-place votes and 1,871 points.
Tagovailoa’s teammates were not happy their signal caller went home empty handed. “Dec. 29 it’s up,” Crimson Tide sack leader Isaiah Buggs tweeted. Alabama is a 14-point pick to win.
Murray became the fifth Oklahoma player to take home the honor, joining Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978), Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008) and Baker Mayfield (2017). The university is now tied with Notre Dame and Ohio State for the most Heisman’s.