This past week was an eventful one for the Big 12, with the MLB Draft commencing, the NCAA Baseball Tournament continuing to the super regional round, and many teams were hitting the recruiting trail as the football offseason continued. Here are some of the top storylines to come from the conference over the past seven days:
Texas Tech and Texas advance to the College World Series
Both of the Big 12’s remaining teams in the super regional round of the college baseball NCAA tournament continued their successful seasons, as both Texas Tech and Texas earned a trip to Omaha on Monday with wins in the super regionals. Texas defeated Tennessee Tech 5-2 in game three of the best of three super regional series to advance to their 36th CWS, while Texas Tech beat Duke in a 6-2 game in front of the Red Raider faithful at Rip Griffin Park to earn their third trip to Omaha in six years under Tim Tadlock. The Big 12 sent multiple teams to Omaha for the third time in the last five years, with all three of those occurrences happening when Texas Tech made it to Omaha.
Texas Tech will play their first game vs. the No. 1 overall seed in Florida on Sunday night at 6 p.m., while Texas will play No. 5 national seed Arkansas at 1 p.m Sunday.
MLB Draft headlined by Kyler Murray’s selection
Forty-six players from the Big 12 were selected in the 2018 MLB Draft, led by 11 picks from Texas Tech. Oklahoma had nine picks, and none were more fascinating than multi-sport athlete Kyler Murray being selected 9th overall by the Oakland Athletics.
As soon as the A’s selected Murray, there was growing interest as to whether he would continue to play quarterback for Oklahoma. In 2017, he backed up Heisman winner Baker Mayfield, as the Sooners used Murray occasionally in their College Football Playoff game vs. Georgia. Murray is expected to be the starting Quarterback for the Sooners this season.
While there is speculation that Murray might skip his football season and focus solely on his professional baseball career, it seems as if Murray has worked out a deal to remain at OU and still receive his five million dollar initial contract from the Athletics and join the team’s minor league system in 2019. While Murray is an electrifying player, his draft upside is limited in football due to his lack of size. The A’s seem on board with him playing Quarterback, so it seems as if come September 1st Kyler will be under center for the Sooners.
A's scouting director Eric Kubota, on drafting Kyler Murray: "The risk of football was outweighed by the upside on the baseball field. ... We were totally on board with his desire to play quarterback at Oklahoma. Frankly, we're kind of excited to be Oklahoma fans.”— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 5, 2018
Recruit of the Week: Marcus Hicks ( 2019 DE- Oklahoma)
This new segment will become a weekly part of the “Around the Big 12” articles, where we look at a top recruit that has recently committed to a Big 12 school in any major sport.
This week our focus turns to football, as our first prospect is 2019 DE Marcus Hicks, who committed to Oklahoma this past Friday. Hicks is 6’5, 235 lbs, and is known for his agility. Hicks is a 247 Composite four star from Wichita, Kansas. In 2017, he had 19.5 TFL and 10 sacks. His arrival could bring some much needed firepower to the OU defensive line, with star DE Obo Okoronkwo graduating this past season. Oklahoma now has the third best recruiting class according to 247 Sports, and with 13 commitments now has a significant portion of its recruiting class filled.