…decides to play baseball? I broke down some of the OU spring game, first with an eye towards the play of the QBs Austin Kendall and Kyler Murray. I used some of my observations there in this recent post at SB Nation exploring the possibility that his baseball potential could pull him away from Norman this coming fall.
I don’t think his split attention is allowing him to maximize his potential in either realm and if he gets a good offer this summer from the MLB, he should give up on his football dream. He probably should anyways because this fall isn’t going to offer him the kind of football glory and opportunity he’s looking for if he doesn’t devote serious attention to it. Being the guy who followed Baker Mayfield and presided over a disappointing Oklahoma season should be less enticing than playing baseball for good money if it can be had.
There’s probably a good chance though that he’s totally confident he can play this fall and play at a high level, just make sure you learn to pick up the blitz Kyler.
If he were to depart it’s worth noting that post spring there could be some major talents available in the transfer market and Oklahoma would be VERY well situated to pounce on them. They should probably do so regardless.
There’s Nebraska pocket passer Patrick O’Brien, who had the misfortune of going to Lincoln to play for pro-style Mike Riley only to see triple-option/spread guru Scott Frost take over and relegate him to the bottom of the depth chart. He’d have to sit a year and wouldn’t be a great fit but he’s a solid talent.
Then there’s Alabama QB Jalen Hurts, more or less the exact opposite, who’d offer OU a phenomenal athlete with a solid arm that Riley may be able to coach up into a good enough passer. If I’m Hurts though I’m looking to go Big Red and replace O’Brien.
Finally there’s Joe Burrow of Ohio State, probably the best fit for Oklahoma IF he should come available. Urban Meyer may be able to cajole him into staying at the local school (Ohio kid) but it seems like that job will go to Dwayne Haskins who’s comparably comfortable in the offense and more talented. Burrow could play immediately (grad transfer) and would almost certainly start over Kendall, I wouldn’t be shocked if Oklahoma wasn’t already reaching out to him. Indeed, Burrow may be better than Murray in 2018 regardless even though he doesn’t offer the same athleticism (few do) because Burrow is a good passer who’s all in on football.