Kyler Murray, selected No. 9 overall in MLB draft, says he will play football at Oklahoma in 2018

Kyle Phillips / The TranscriptOU's Kyler Murray in the dugout during the Sooners' game against Texas, Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Bricktown Ballpark.

When news finally came down that Kyler Murray was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the Major League Baseball draft, it sent a tremor through the University of Oklahoma athletic landscape.

Not long after, Murray’s own words brought a sense of calm.

The OU outfielder, who is a favorite to secure the school’s starting quarterback job, said during a late-night conference call he plans to play football with the Sooners in 2018, and that the Athletics organization is OK with that decision.

“I will be playing football this year,” Murray told reporters.

Many were surprised the two-sport star was drafted so early.

Because of the perception he wants to play football this fall, Murray’s willingness to sign professionally for baseball was in question during previous months, causing uncertainty about which MLB team, if any, was willing to take him early in the first round.

But national reports began circulating Monday that Murray was open to signing with a team that allowed him an opportunity to play football in 2018, a move the NCAA allows. MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds echoed those reports during the draft telecast, stating he believed Murray would play one more season of football at OU, then immediately turn to the diamond.

Susan Slusser, the longtime Oakland A’s beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, confirmed Reynolds’ report, citing sources.

Should Murray somehow choose not to sign with Oakland, the organization would lose $4,761,500 — the No. 9 pick’s approximate slot value — from its draft pool. The deadline to sign is July 6.

Murray is OU’s highest MLB draft pick since Jon Gray went third overall to Colorado in 2013, and just the program’s second top-10 overall pick since 1985.

OU outfielder Steele Walker was also selected Monday, going 46th overall to the Chicago White Sox in the second round. The pick’s slot value is $1,556,100.

Murray, who will be 21 in August, hit .296 this season for the Sooners with 10 home runs, 13 doubles, 47 RBIs and 46 runs. He missed OU’s final seven games with a hamstring injury sustained against Texas in the Big 12 tournament, but his speed, power and upside have intrigued scouts all season.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Allen, Texas, product will be a redshirt junior in the fall. On the football field, he accrued a perfect 43-0 record as starting at quarterback in Texas’ largest high school classification, then played a brief stint as a freshman Texas A&M before transferring to OU in 2015.

Murray was the Sooners’ backup quarterback last season, completing 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and rushing for 142 yards in seven games. Though not viewed as a future NFL quarterback because of his size, he is considered the frontrunner at OU to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, who told Bleacher Report recently he believes Murray will “break all his records.”

Still, Murray hasn’t officially earned the 2018 starting job. OU football coach Lincoln Riley called the QB race between Murray and Austin Kendall “neck and neck” after the April spring game. Whether Murray’s decision to return to Norman gives him an advantage in securing the role is up for speculation.

Riley was confident while telling reporters last week he expects Murray in Norman for summer football workouts. The coach seemed genuinely unconcerned Murray would leave the Sooners in favor of an immediate jump to the professional baseball ranks.

“Everybody else has been a lot more worried about it than me,” Riley said. “I haven’t lost one night of sleep on it, so I apologize if anyone else has.

“I knew the deal getting into it. When he first decided to leave A&M we had very candid conversations with him and his family about it. They have lived up to their word — every part of it. I have no doubt they’ll continue to do so and I think they’d say the same about us.”

Mississippi State eliminated the Sooners 8-1 in an NCAA baseball regional final Monday. Hours later, as the team plane landed, Murray and his teammates learned the news and briefly celebrated in a video posted to the program’s Twitter account.

Despite the regional loss, Monday bore a silver lining for OU coach Skip Johnson’s program, taking Walker’s selection into consideration.

Although Walker slid from his spot as a projected first rounder, hearing from the White Sox was good news after what’s been a difficult past few weeks. He missed the Sooners’ last eight games — all in the postseason — with a strained right oblique muscle.

A 5-foot-11, 190-pound outfielder with athletic ability and impressive bat power, Walker was revered at OU for his all-around skill set. That included leadership, as his carefree, California-style persona seemed to endear teammates.

On the field, Walker rebounded from a sluggish start to his junior season and led OU with a .352 batting average, 13 home runs, 53 RBIs and a .606 slugging percentage.

UPDATED (10:45 p.m.) — Kyler Murray told reporters on a conference call he plans to play football at Oklahoma in the fall, and that the Oakland Athletics are fine with that decision.

Oakland selected Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft's first round Monday. Murray is also vying to become OU's starting quarterback in 2018.

Kyler Murray says he will definitely play football this fall and the A's are OK with it.

— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 5, 2018

ORIGINAL — Some people claimed inside knowledge about how early he would be selected, but most could only contribute to what had become months of speculation.

When the news finally came down, Kyler Murray’s draft position still sent a tremor through the University of Oklahoma athletic landscape.

The OU outfielder, who is also vying to become the school’s quarterback this fall, was selected No. 9 overall by the Oakland Athletics in the MLB draft’s first round Monday.

Many were surprised Murray went off the board so quickly.

Because of the perception he wants to play football this fall, Murray’s willingness to sign professionally for baseball was in question during previous months, causing uncertainty about which MLB team, if any, was willing to take him early in the first round.

But national reports began circulating Monday that Murray was open to signing with a team that allowed him an opportunity to play football in 2018, a move the NCAA allows. MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds echoed those reports during the draft telecast, stating he believes Murray will play one more season of football at OU, then immediately turn to the diamond.

“He will play football this fall and then after football season will go right into baseball. That’s what I’m hearing right now,” Reynolds said.

Susan Slusser, the longtime Oakland A’s beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, confirmed Reynolds’ report, citing sources.

Should Murray choose not to sign with Oakland, the organization would lose $4,761,500 — the No. 9 pick’s approximate slot value — from its draft pool. Murray must make his choice by the July 6 deadline.

He is OU’s highest MLB draft pick since Jon Gray went third overall to Colorado in 2013, and just the program’s second top-10 overall pick since 1985.

OU outfielder Steele Walker was also selected Monday, going 46th overall to the Chicago White Sox in the second round. The pick’s slot value is $1,556,100.

Murray, who will be 21 in August, hit .296 this season for the Sooners with 10 home runs, 13 doubles, 47 RBIs and 46 runs. He missed OU’s final seven games with a hamstring injury sustained against Texas in the Big 12 tournament, but his speed, power and upside have intrigued scouts all season.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Allen, Texas, product will be a redshirt junior in the fall. On the football field, he accrued a perfect 43-0 record as starting at quarterback in Texas’ largest high school classification, then played a brief stint as a freshman Texas A&M before transferring to OU in 2015.

Murray was the Sooners’ backup quarterback last season, completing 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and rushing for 142 yards in seven games. Though not viewed as a future NFL quarterback because of his size, he is considered the frontrunner at OU to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, who told Bleacher Report recently he believes Murray will “break all his records.”

Still, Murray hasn’t officially earned the 2018 starting job. OU football coach Lincoln Riley called the QB race between Murray and Austin Kendall “neck and neck” after the April spring game.

Riley was confident while telling reporters last week he expects Murray in Norman for summer football workouts. The coach seemed genuinely unconcerned Murray would leave the Sooners in favor of an immediate jump to the professional baseball ranks.

“Everybody else has been a lot more worried about it than me,” Riley said. “I haven’t lost one night of sleep on it, so I apologize if anyone else has.

“I knew the deal getting into it. When he first decided to leave A&M we had very candid conversations with him and his family about it. They have lived up to their word — every part of it. I have no doubt they’ll continue to do so and I think they’d say the same about us.”

Mississippi State eliminated the Sooners 8-1 in an NCAA baseball regional final Monday. Hours later, as the team plane landed, Murray and his teammates learned the news and briefly celebrated in a video posted to the program’s Twitter account.

Despite the regional loss, Monday bore a silver lining for OU coach Skip Johnson’s program, taking Walker’s selection into consideration.

Although Walker slid from his spot as a projected first rounder, hearing from the White Sox was good news after what’s been a difficult past few weeks. He missed the Sooners’ last eight games — all in the postseason — with a strained right oblique muscle.

A 5-foot-11, 190-pound outfielder with athletic ability and impressive bat power, Walker was revered at OU for his all-around skill set. That included leadership, as his carefree, California-style persona — despite hailing from Prosper, Texas — endeared him to teammates.

On the field, Walker rebounded from a sluggish start to his junior season and led OU with a .352 batting average, 13 home runs, 53 RBIs and a .606 slugging percentage.