Archive for the ‘NCAA Football’ Category

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Tim Tebow is one of the few people who truly understands Kyler Murray’s dilemma about whether to play professional baseball or football.

Prior to Murray’s decision to enter the NFL draft, Tebow did his best to help the 21-year-old dual-sport star make the right choice for himself.

“Kyler, I think he’s a really good young man, and I think this was a really tough decision for him,” Tebow said, according to ESPN. “He loves two sports, and I can really relate to that. And he went with something that he’s been really good at lately and dominating in. When we talked about it, and we did talk about that, I just gave him the advice to follow your heart. Whatever you’re passionate about.”

Murray was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft, then went on to win the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma. Although Murray was already taken by the A’s, he decided to pursue his NFL dream and forgo a career in baseball.

Tebow also won the Heisman during his college career at Florida and decided to play baseball after his NFL stint ended, joining the New York Mets organization. He advised Murray to avoid making a decision for the benefit of people around him.

“Don’t do it for your agents, or your friends and sometimes necessarily even your family,” Tebow said. “Do it for what’s on your heart, and don’t let other people define you. You’re going to have all these coaches that you look up to and everybody else that’s going to tell you what they think, but what’s most important is following your heart and your passion. And so, I don’t know, hopefully, he did that.”

Murray will enter the draft as one of the most intriguing prospects in recent memory, something else that Tebow can certainly relate to.

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Quarterback Kyler Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, will pursue an NFL career despite previously signing a contract with the Oakland Athletics.

“Football has been my love and passion my entire life,” he wrote on Twitter. “I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100 (percent) of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships.

“I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews. I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”

Oakland drafted Murray with the ninth overall pick last June. The club agreed to let him play football during his junior year at Oklahoma before requiring him to report to the A’s.

Murray spent the past few weeks trying to decide between the two sports after thriving on the gridiron.

At the end of the college football season, he talked about pursuing both sports simultaneously. However, the time demands of being an NFL quarterback would have made that dream nearly impossible.

Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are the highest-profile dual-sport stars, as both played baseball and football at the same time in the 1990s.

Murray was already slated to attend the NFL Scouting Combine at the end of February, where he’ll be one of the most watched prospects. The 21-year-old could be a first-round pick in the NFL draft in April, which would make him the first athlete selected in the first round of the MLB and NFL drafts, according to the NFL’s research department.

The 5-foot-10 pivot electrified the country during his lone campaign as a starter at Oklahoma, throwing for 4,361 yards with 42 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He added 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.

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Kyler Murray is making the rounds on Radio Row during Super Bowl week, informing members of the NFL media that he’ll be making a decision on whether to pursue a career in professional football or baseball in the near future.

“Soon. Very soon,” Murray said to NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano on Thursday, per NFL.com’s Nick Shook.

Murray was the ninth overall pick by the Oakland Athletics‘ in the 2018 MLB Draft. However, he was allowed to continue his collegiate football career and wound up winning the Heisman Trophy in December as the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.

If it were up to Murray, he wouldn’t limit himself to one sport.

“I wish I could play both,” Murray said to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I know it’s highly, highly, highly unlikely, but it’s not an easy decision.”

Murray has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft and is projected to go as early as the first round.

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After declaring for the NFL draft on Monday, Kyler Murray must choose between football and baseball. One man who’s been in Murray’s position before, two-sport legend Deion Sanders, knows which decision he’d make if he was in the Heisman Trophy winner’s shoes.

Sanders suggested that Murray, an Oakland Athletics draft pick who’s already agreed to a signing bonus with the team, forego life in the NFL and stick to baseball.

“If I was in his shoes, I’m picking up the baseball bat and I’m not looking back,” Sanders said on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

After saying Murray won’t be able to play both sports because of the demands of the quarterback position, the man known as Prime Time, who was a star in the NFL and MLB, went on to explain why the young phenom should play baseball exclusively.

“That’s tough, at his position,” Sanders added. “I don’t think he realizes the ridicule that you go through once you declare and say, ‘I’m gonna be a football player.’ Now people start talking about your height, your size, what you can’t do. He ain’t dealt with that yet.”

Murray is listed at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, according to the Oklahoma Sooners website.

Despite being considered undersized as a quarterback, Murray is projected by some evaluators to be drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

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Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence announced Wednesday he’ll forgo his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft, in which he’s widely projected to be a first-round pick.

Lawrence was suspended during Clemson’s title-winning playoff run after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, although he denied taking any banned substance.

“We get tested regularly and we know not to do anything stupid or selfish like that,” Lawrence said after being suspended, according to ESPN. “That’s why this is such a shock.”

The 6-foot-4, 350-pounder recorded 37 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss, and 1.5 sacks in 13 games this season.

It’s unclear what effect – if any – the suspension will have on his draft position.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Ohio State vs Washington

Ohio State quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins declared for the 2019 NFL Draft on Monday.

The redshirt sophomore finished third in Heisman voting behind winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Alabama‘s Tua Tagovailoa, with 46 first-place votes.

Haskins completed 70 percent of his 533 pass attempts this season for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions while leading the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record. Ohio State topped Washington in the Rose Bowl 28-23 after beating Northwestern 45-24 in the Big Ten championship.

In December, the NFL’s college personnel advisory board reportedly projected Haskins would be selected in the first round of the draft.

Pekka Rinne‘s latest victory was one for the record books.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner backstopped the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 triumph over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, capturing his 320th career win to move past Miikka Kiprusoff for the most all time by a Finnish-born goaltender.

Rinne accomplished the feat in 43 fewer games than Kiprusoff, who retired following the 2012-13 season.

Here’s the leaderboard as far as netminders from Finland are concerned:

GOALTENDER W GP
Rinne 320 580
Kiprusoff 319 623
Kari Lehtonen 301 649
Tuukka Rask 242 458
Antti Niemi 238 453
Niklas Backstrom 196 413
Vesa Toskala 129 266
Antero Niittymaki 95 234
Antti Raanta 73 150
Karri Ramo 60 159

Rinne reminisced about Kiprusoff when asked about the achievement postgame.

“He was kind of the first Finnish superstar goalie,” Rinne told reporters including The Athletic’s John Glennon. “It was nice to play against him, especially when I was younger. I especially tried to watch him play and things like that. So for sure, it’s cool.”