Tebow: I told Murray to follow his heart
Kyler Murray received sound advice from another two-sport athlete in Tim Tebow before making the decision to focus on the NFL instead of MLB.
Tebow – the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner – told Murray he should follow his heart when deciding between a baseball career that would start with the Oakland Athletics or preparing for the NFL draft.
Murray, who won the Heisman last year during his only season as Oklahoma's starting quarterback, announced on Monday that he was fully committing to American football despite being selected ninth overall in the 2018 amateur baseball draft.
"Kyler, I think he's a really good young man, and I think this was a really tough decision for him," Tebow told reporters Saturday when he arrived at Mets' spring training.
"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.
"You know what? Don't do it for your agents, or your friends and sometimes necessarily even your family. 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."
After last year's baseball draft, Murray agreed to a minor league contract with Oakland that had a $4.66million signing bonus attached.
The deal allowed Murray to receive $1.5m after approval by the league and $3.16m on March 1 — he now must return a portion of the money he received ($1,285,714).
Murray, who was the talk of both leagues before making a decision earlier in the week, had 54 total touchdowns and only seven interceptions as the Sooners starter last season.
"Football has been my love and passion my entire life. 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," Murray wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.
Tebow, a former NFL quarterback, is now an outfielder in the New York Mets' system. He spent time with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles before pursuing baseball full time in 2016.