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Lincoln Riley Makes Surprising Statement About Oklahoma's Starting Quarterback

Oklahoma directing players during pregame warmups.

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 25: Head Coach Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma Sooners during warm ups before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated West Virginia 59-31. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Oklahoma is replacing Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield at quarterback this season. The odds-on favorite to take Mayfield's place is Kyler Murray, who backed him up last season.

Murray was a top-10 pick in this year's MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. He signed a multi-million dollar contract with Oakland, and agreed to devote his time to baseball starting in 2019.

As part of the mutual agreement, Oakland is allowing Murray to play football this fall. Oklahoma fans are counting on him to keep the team in national title contention, but things aren't that simple.

For one, Murray's head coach isn't willing to declare him the starter just yet. Lincoln Riley told reporters at Big 12 Media Day that Murray and Austin Kendall are competing for the job.

Kendall redshirted last season. He played in two games in a backup role in 2016, completing 16 of 22 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns.

It certainly would be a surprise if Murray didn't win the starting job. If we had to guess, this seems like Riley just being coy during the summer.

On paper, Murray's dual-threat ability would make Oklahoma's offense as dangerous as it can be. He also has a little bit more experience than his competitor.

If Kendall beats him out, perhaps he should have gotten his baseball career started sooner.