He might begin his collegiate career as a backup, but Texas A&M freshman quarterback Kyler Murray isn't being shy about his desire to eventually take the reigns from incumbent Kyle Allen.
"I mean, I knew who committed and who was there [before I committed], but I believe in my abilities," Murray said Tuesday night in Los Angeles at the 2015 Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards, where he was named Gatorade's Male Athlete of the Year. "I saw what Johnny [Manziel] did, how he came in, worked hard and took it over and we kind of have the same skill set.
"I believe once the school and all the fans see what I can do they'll fall in love with me."
The question is when Murray will get that chance. Allen, a rising sophomore, completed 62 percent of his passes and threw for 1,322 yards, 16 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions last year after taking over the Aggies' starting quarterback job in November. He was also named MVP of the Liberty Bowl after throwing four touchdown passes and running for one in Texas A&M's 45-37 win over West Virginia.
But Murray was ESPN's No. 1 rated quarterback in the class of 2015 for a reason. He finished his high school career a perfect 43-0 and led Allen High School (TX) to three consecutive state titles. In his senior year he threw for 4,713 yards and ran for 1,498. He also had 54 touchdowns through the air and 24 on the ground.
Would Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin be open to using both Allen, who's expected to be named the team's Week 1 starter, and Murray during games?
"I really haven't done it before," Sumlin said to reporters Tuesday morning at SEC Media Days, according to the Dallas Morning News. "We'll see. We've never started out that way. That doesn't mean that we won't. We'll see where we are in fall. Kyle is confident right now and should be. ...Kyler is a guy who all he's done is won. It's like anything else. It's not like Kyler didn't know Kyle Allen was the MVP of the bowl game. That didn't stop him. He's coming to compete, and that's what makes both of those guys who they are."
Murray, for his part, is being both deferential and confident.
"Right now [Allen's] the starter, obviously," Murray said. "Right now my job is just to come in, learn the offense, get better every day and try to help the team any possible way. I just have to sit there and wait my turn. I think I will get reps in games, so they will see me, so when that time comes... that's what it's all about."
So why didn't Murray chose a school where he would be starting on Day 1?
"It came down to A&M, Oregon, Texas, some other schools came in late," Murray said. "But A&M's offense, seeing how Johnny [Manziel] ran it, I feel like it's best suited for me. I feel like I can excel in it."
A starting job wasn't the only thing Murray potentially gave up. A star baseball prospect as well, Murray was projected by many to go in the early rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft. But the 5'11, 185-pound quarterback announced in May that he would bypass the draft and instead play both football and baseball at College Station.
"I was very seriously considering going pro out of high school," Murray said. "But I didn't play the field last season because of a toe injury -- that basically cut off that option.
"But wherever I was going, I was was going to play both sports. I wasn't going to commit or go somewhere where I couldn't play baseball."