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College Baseball Countdown: 87 Days to Go- Kyler Murray

Photo- Mike Janes/Four Seam Images

Photo- Mike Janes/Four Seam Images

If you’re just joining us, you can read an introduction post on our countdown here.

One of the truly unique things about college baseball is that, because of its scheduling timetable, it is a little more conducive to two-sport star than most other college sports. There is no overlap with football (although spring football does overlap, of course), and there is minimal overlap with basketball.

In recent years, we’ve seen plenty of examples of players who have flourished in multiple sports. Jameis Winston, at once, won a Heisman Trophy on the football field while also holding down a role at the back of the FSU bullpen. Pat Connaughton of Notre Dame shined on the basketball court as a shooting guard for the Irish while also firing high-90s fastballs as a member of the baseball team’s starting rotation.

Going back a few years, we witnessed Jeff Samardzija catching touchdown passes in the fall and striking out hitters in the springtime. Then, of course, there was Russell Wilson (N.C. State edition), who not only played both sports for the Wolfpack, but also played a couple of years of minor league baseball while still playing quarterback at the college level.

In 2016, Texas A&M will officially have a two-sport star on its hands in Kyler Murray. Murray, of course, has played some quarterback this fall for the Aggies. Although there has been much more attention paid to the way A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has handled the quarterback battle between Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray than anything in particular that Murray has done on the field, he is a highly-regarded prospect at the position who garnered recruiting attention from just about everyone when he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school.

As talented as he is on the football field, Murray is said to be just as good on the diamond. Had Murray not been so steadfast in his commitment to attending Texas A&M, he would have been a high draft pick in the most recent MLB Draft. As it is, he comes into this baseball season ranked 25th on Perfect Game’s list of the top 350 incoming freshmen.

Certainly, the MLB’s loss is Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress’s gain. Given his prominent role on the football team and the presumption that spring football could be vitally important to his development as a quarterback and his quest to become the team’s unquestioned starter, there was some doubt about whether or not he would actually ever suit up for Childress. So far, though, all signs still point toward him doing so. Although he did not participate in the team’s fall workouts or scrimmages, he reportedly spent some time over at the baseball facility taking hitting lessons.

The follow-up question, if we’re working under the assumption that he is, in fact, going to be available to play, is about where he will play in the field. In high school, Murray played middle infield and he has been mostly projected to play second base moving forward. Currently, that position is filled by veteran Ryne Birk, who is among the most consistent offensive players in the program. With Murray’s athleticism being what it is, there is also the possibility that he could be a fit in the outfield as well, where there is a little more playing time to go around. SEC Player of the Year candidate Nick Banks will occupy one position, but outside of that, no one else’s role in the outfield feels set in stone.

Even if he’s not a regular in the lineup at one of the three outfield positions, it seems like a certainty that Murray will find his way onto the field in some capacity.


Joe Healy was first introduced to college baseball when he grew up watching the likes of Jeff Niemann, Philip Humber, and Wade Townsend pitch for Rice University. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. That love only grew as he went off to college at Sam Houston State University, where he practically lived at Don Sanders Stadium watching his Bearkats under the direction of the legendary Mark Johnson. He holds a B.A. in political science from SHSU and is working toward his Masters in Public Administration from SIU-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois.