Murray, who attends the University of Oklahoma, announced his decision in a Twitter post just four days before he was scheduled to report to the A's spring training program.
"Football has been my love and passion my entire life", Murray added. Murray's locker remained empty on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in the spring training clubhouse of the Oakland Athletics, who say they are uncertain when or if the Heisman Trophy victor will report to the baseball team he signed with last summer.
The Heisman Trophy victor has been pushed toward football after an incredible junior season in which he threw for 4,361 passing yards and 42 touchdowns for Oklahoma.
Murray is a projected first-round pick in April's draft and will nearly certainly become the first athlete to be drafted in the first round of both the National Football League and MLB. Murray was the ninth overall pick in last June's baseball amateur draft, and the outfielder agreed to a minor league contract with the Oakland A's for a $4.66 million signing bonus, money he'll have to pay back.
Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders played football and baseball, but both men played less demanding positions: Jackson was a running back and Sanders a cornerback.
In his lone season as the full-time starter at Oklahoma, Murray was electrifying. According to ESPN, the 2018 Heisman Trophy victor will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million signing bonus money the A's gave him in 2018.
Murray, 21, was drafted ninth overall by Major League Baseball side Oakland Athletics in June a year ago.
All Murray did in one 14-game season was rewrite OU's record books time and time again en route to winning the Heisman Trophy Award two months ago. And with baseball becoming both increasingly expensive, professionalized and hard at the youth level-kids who harbor major league dreams are forced into endless travel ball circuits, highly competitive All-Star leagues and expensive private coaching before they've even reached puberty-it's easy to see those would-be Kyler Murrays choosing football or basketball, too.
Murray has already begun training in preparation for April's NFL Draft, his statement said. The A's will retain his rights if he does choose to return to baseball in the future.