Bo Jackson doesn’t have any words of wisdom for Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray beyond a basic credo: follow your heart and mind.
Jackson, perhaps the most famous two-sport athlete in modern history, spoke to reporters Friday in Kansas City as part of the Royals’ weekend fan festival. He said he voted for Murray for the 2018 Heisman Trophy over Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and others and didn’t want to persuade Murray to pick either baseball or football.
Murray, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2018 and signed a contract with the team, declared for the NFL draft earlier this month after his Heisman-winning campaign.
Bo Jackson said he would not give Kyler Murray advice on the baseball-football decision: “I followed my heart and my mind,” Bo said. “And he has to do the same.” pic.twitter.com/dQ5ZtCoLgS
— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) January 25, 2019
“I would not give him advice,” Jackson said. “I followed my heart and my mind and he has to do the same thing.”
Jackson won the 1985 Heisman Trophy as a running back at Auburn. He was taken No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1986 NFL draft and drafted in the fourth round of the 1986 MLB draft by the Royals. He picked baseball initially and played in 25 games for the Royals in that same season.
Since Jackson didn’t play football in 1986 he was eligible for the 1987 NFL draft. The Oakland (then Los Angeles) Raiders chose him in the seventh round of the draft and Jackson played parts of four seasons for the Raiders while also playing baseball for the Royals before a serious hip injury derailed his career.
Jackson: It’s harder to play two sports now
Jackson wasn’t about to say that Murray faces the same difficulties he did if the Oklahoma QB wanted to try to simultaneously play both sports professionally as Jackson did.
“Yes. One hundred percent,” Jackson said when asked if it was more difficult now than it was 30 years ago. “The athletic pool is rich and deep with talent it’s not funny. It’s ridiculous how talented the kids are. If you try to be great in both sports you’ll end up being mediocre in both. Probably second-string in both.”
Murray projects as a possible first-round NFL draft pick if he decides to stick with football over baseball. If he’s drafted in the first round of the NFL draft he would become the first player to be drafted in the first round of both the MLB and NFL drafts.
With spring training approaching in February, Murray will need to decide soon if he’ll report to camp or focus exclusively on an NFL career. According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, there are some NFL executives who aren’t convinced that baseball is a more appealing option than football because of the time Murray would have to spend in the minor leagues.
– – – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• 10-year-old wins science fair by proving Tom Brady is ‘a cheater’
• Warriors visit Obama after snubbing Trump
• The gloves are off for Stephen A. and Raiders’ Carr
• Ex-NFL star witnesses FBI raid on Roger Stone