In the midst of Oklahoma preparing for No. 1-ranked Clemson in the Capital One Orange Bowl, the Sooners earned a major lift for the future.
It was Christmas Eve when the university announced former five-star quarterback Kyler Murray is indeed going to be transferring to OU.
Murray, the Scout National Recruit of the Year for the 2015 class, had an uneven freshman season at Texas A&M, where he started three games.
There have been questions regarding Murray and his character. Most wondering if his time in College Station didn’t work out because of Murray or because of his A&M’s leadership.
A lot of people can talk about Murray, but a couple of them reside in Norman right now in former Allen (Texas) high teammates Bobby Evans (freshman offensive tackle) and Tay Evans (redshirt freshman linebacker). Sooners Illustrated had a chance to catch up with the Evans brothers on media day last week to discuss Murray.
Even though it felt like a given, Bobby and Tay both said they never saw it coming and both said they haven’t had any contact with Murray since the announcement.
“It caught a lot of us by surprise,” Bobby Evans said. “He’s an impact player, who can make plays. He works hard outside of the game. He practices just like the way he plays in a game.”
Murray was 72-of-121 passing for 686 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 335 yards, averaging more than six yards per carry.
The numbers, on paper, don’t sound too impressive, but the Murray that Tay Evans knows will be ready to roll for the Sooners in 2017.
“He’s a competitor,” Tay Evans said. “He’s a warrior just like Baker Mayfield. He’s going to go out and get the job done.
“I remember we were down against DeSoto in my senior year. Kyler took it upon himself, took off and made the play that got us going again.”
As quarterback at Allen, Murray guided the Eagles to back-to-back-to-back state championships. His senior season numbers sound too fake to be real, but they are.
Murray threw for 4,713 yards and 54 touchdowns, adding another 1,485 yards on the ground and 25 more scores. Yes, nearly 6,200 yards of total offense and 79 touchdowns.
That’s Murray on the field. Off the field, the Evans brothers said is a lot different. A five-star quarterback who doesn’t carry around a five-star profile.
“Kyler is a chill dude,” Tay Evans said. “He keeps to himself, but he’s a real good dude to be around. It takes a lot for him to get comfortable with you. He doesn’t put it all out there. But once you do, it’s all good.”
Murray will have to sit out the 2016 season for the Sooners, per NCAA transfer rules and will be a redshirt sophomore when the 2017 season rolls around.
Tay will be a redshirt junior, and Bobby will be a redshirt sophomore as well. The band is getting back together again even if it’s a couple of years later than all of them initially thought.
“I can’t wait,” Tay Evans said. “It’s going to be just like high school all over again with my brother, Kyler and me. It’s going to be great.”