It’s really a surprise to nobody in the Texas High School football community that it came so quickly. To say the wins came in bunches while Kyler Murray was at Allen High School would be a severe understatement. The Eagles won 43 straight games and three State Championships in a row while Murray was under center in Allen (he only missed one of those 43 games) and he was named the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year for his efforts.
So when Kyler Murray was slated to start against South Carolina for Texas A&M last week, it was more of an “about time” than an “already?” reaction around the Lone Star State.
With the Aggies reeling from two straight losses and a precipitous drop out of the AP Top 25, Murray came into Kyle Field and righted the ship for Texas A&M, quarterbacking a 35-28 victory to push the Ags record to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the SEC. The former Allen Eagle finished the day with 223 yards with one touchdown on 20-28 passing, and showed off his wheels adding another 156 yards and a score on a massive 20 carries.
Although Murray won’t be winning the Heisman Trophy this year, he did show shades of former freshman Aggies QB Johnny Manziel. He’s certainly given the team the lift they need to feel confident heading into the last four games of the season.
“The biggest thing that I thought he did was not force the game, and not force things and let the game come to him,” Head Coach Kevin Sumlin said. “He guessed a little bit early on some of the quarterback read stuff. Once he settled down and actually started to read things out, he was effective.”
One difference that teammates noticed between Murray and Manziel was how he ended his game-changing scrambles.
“I guess Kyler learned from Johnny not sliding and decided to make sure you get down and protect himself and continue doing that so you can have him for the next play,” Aggies RB Tra Carson said.
It makes sense that Murray would have the smarts to get down and avoid the big hit. He’s also an infielder for the Aggies, so sliding is a bit of a second nature to him. He was the first player ever to be selected for both the football and baseball Under Armour All-American games in his senior year at Allen.
Murray was even one of the top MLB prospects coming into the draft this past season, but chose to forgo the majors and withdraw his name from the draft to attend Texas A&M, following his family ties to College Station. His father, Kevin Murray, was the Aggies quarterback from 1983-86.
Texas A&M welcomes 4-4 Auburn this week, and is currently sitting just on the right side of the AP poll at #25. The Ags sit two games back in the loss column of #4 LSU, and must win their next three games (and have some help from a few other teams) to have a chance at toppling the Tigers and taking down the SEC West in the last game of their regular season schedule on November 28 in Baton Rouge.