Kyler Murray, from Allen, Texas, holds his trophy after being named the 2015 Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year (Photo: Gatorade, Susan Goldman)
Kyler Murray has left a lasting legacy at Allen (Texas).
- Three state championships;
- 42-0 record as a starter;
- Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year, American Family Insurance ALL-USA Offensive Player of the Year and multiple other honors;
But Murray is now at Texas A&M, and football has gone on at Allen, like every big-time high school star before him.
Allen opened the season – and reopened is mega-stadium – last Friday with a 48-16 victory against Denton Guyer.
“I want them to succeed,” Murray told USA TODAY High School Sports during the Gatorade event in Los Angeles. “I’m not going to say they’ve done something yet because they haven’t. It’s a new year, new season, new team. They don’t have the seniors we had leading them.
“With the whole success we had, I think we’ve built a nice formula the past three years Hopefully, I can give them some advice when I can.”
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Murray and his teammates did not play or practice at their home stadium during his senior season because of repairs required to fix structural damage on the $60 million facility.
“I know how excited and geeked they are to be back in the stadium,” he said. “I’m excited for them and it’s over from me.
“To have all the fans there … Allen is THE best community to play football in, I think , at the high school level. That will give them a boost, but they still have to play and perform.”
Coach Tom Westerberg has acknowledged that his team can’t simply replace Murray, who he termed a once in a career type player. But Mitchell Jonke got off to an excellent start. Jonke, the undefeated JV starter last season, threw five touchdown passes and ran for another against Guyer. Seth Green, the Oregon commit who transferred from Minnesota, played one series in the first half and then threw a TD pass in the fourth quarter.
Westerberg has said he plans to give both quarterbacks a chance in the first two games of the season and then make a decision entering district play. It’s possible that Jonke made the decision for him.
Murray said last month that he wasn’t going to make a judgment on either player until he saw them in a game, but conceded that Green was facing a challenge because Minnesota “is not Texas. It’s a different beast.”
“Right now they are in a battle,” he said then. “Whoever wins the job, I just hope they can lead Allen to another successful season.”
As for Texas A&M, Murray opens the season behind Kyle Allen as the starter, although he seems likely to get some opportunities to play.
While Murray is following in the footsteps of his father — a former A&M quarterback – another A&M quarterback might have played a bigger role in his selection of the Aggies.
“Growing up, my dad played for A&M, but I didn’t even think of it,” he said. “Before Johnny Manziel did what he did, showing what could be done in that offense with his abilities and put A&M on the map, I had not even thought of A&M (as an option).
“Me and him are pretty tight, although I wouldn’t say he sealed the deal or anything. From social media, you’d probably think he’s a crazy dude, but to me he’s always been a good dude. He’s definitely a guy I can go to for advice whenever I need it. He was a guy to ask questions of because he’s been there and done it.”