Bo Jackson was the No. 1 overall pick of the Buccaneers in the 1986 NFL Draft. He was a fourth-round pick, 105th overall, of the Royals in the 1986 amateur draft.
Jackson, upset with the Bucs for causing him to lose his college baseball eligibility at Auburn, turned down a more lucrative NFL offer to sign with the Royals. The Raiders made Jackson a seventh-round pick in 1987, and he ended up playing both sports.
Oklahoma quarterback/center fielder Kyler Murray now faces a similar decision.
“I would not give him advice,” Jackson said, via video from Rustin Dodd of The Athletic. “I followed my heart and my mind, and he has to do the same thing.”
Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner, declared for the NFL Draft earlier this month. The A’s used the ninth overall pick on him last June and paid him a $4.66 million signing bonus.
The Oklahoma quarterback has yet to announce his plans.
Jackson said it is “100 percent” more difficult to do both sports now than it was in his day.
“The athletic pool is so rich and deep with talent til it’s not funny. It’s ridiculous how talented the kids are,” Jackson said. “If you tried to be great at both sports, you’ll end up being mediocre at both and probably end up second string in both. I’m not saying that I was better than somebody else, but at the time I came up, the baseball team didn’t look like a team going to the Super Bowl. All the baseball players now are anywhere from 6-3 to 6-8, 260 pounds. They all look like linebackers. The talent pool is rich and deep. So like I said, the young man from Oklahoma needs to follow his heart. Follow his heart.”