NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray insists he hasn't changed, yet there are constant reminders that his life will never be the same.
Before June, he was merely a gifted two-sport college athlete. But once the Oakland Athletics took him with the ninth overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft and signed him for nearly $5 million, a new level of fame followed. Murray and the A's agreed that he would come back to Oklahoma and play football, meaning he would return to campus making money on par with football coach Lincoln Riley.
The Sooners have enjoyed teasing Murray about his newly found wealth.
"They obviously make fun of having money," he said, smiling broadly. "All that stuff, they make fun of it, but it's all been good. They showed love, supported me through it all. I'm very thankful for that."
The spotlight on Murray soon could burn even more brightly. He's poised to follow Heisman winner Baker Mayfield as Oklahoma's starting quarterback. If he can beat out Austin Kendall, the 5-foot-10 speedster could be one of college football's most electrifying players. Last season, he completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and ran 14 times for 142 yards as Mayfield's backup, including a 66-yard burst against West Virginia.
Though his future is in baseball, Murray is focused immediately on the gridiron and earning the starting nod for the opener Sept. 1 against Florida Atlantic.
"I wouldn't be here right now if I wasn't hungry to play this," he said. "I think this is the most anticipated football season I've ever been ready for in my life. I'm ready to go."
Murray said his family and friends have kept him grounded.
"Obviously, I've got the ability to do things that other college kids don't have the ability to do, but I'm living like a regular kid," he said. "I'm not that kind of guy to come up here and blow money. To me, I'm still broke."
MARYLAND INVESTIGATION: Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave on Saturday while the school scrutinizes allegations of poor behavior by the football staff, apparent misdeeds that came to light following the death of a player on the practice field.
Earlier Saturday, Rick Court, the head of the football team's strength and conditioning staff was placed on paid leave while the school investigates claims he verbally abused and humiliated players, according to a person briefed on the situation.
Maryland has also placed two athletic training staffers it did not identify on leave as it investigates the death of Jordan McNair.
SOUTHERN MISS SUSPENSION: Southern Mississippi has suspended quarterback Kwadra Griggs for an undisclosed reason. The senior played in 10 games last season, throwing for 1,879 yards, 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He ran for 268 yards and three touchdowns.