College Sports: Surprised about Kyler Murray’s decision to focus on the NFL? His go-to target in high school wasn’t: ‘I’ve known for months’

Earlier this week, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray decided to dedicate his focus toward becoming an NFL quarterback, putting his MLB baseball contract with the Oakland Athletics on the backburner.

That decision came as a surprise to many. But don’t count former North Texas wide receiver Jalen Guyton among the surprised.

“I’ve known for months now what his decision is going to be just because I know who he is,” said Guyton, who played with Murray in high school at Allen. “I’m not surprised at all. Football is his passion.

“Just the amount of time I know that he’s put into the game — into his performance on the football field, how much he loves it, how much we used to talk about it together, it’s just been a dream.”

Guyton is preparing for this April’s NFL draft at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney. He hopes to join Murray and two other teammates from Allen — Ole Miss offensive lineman Greg Little and Oklahoma offensive lineman Bobby Evans — in their quests to play at the next level. Murray, Little and Evans were all invited to the NFL Combine, which begins later this month in Indianapolis.

“I just think it’s real cool that we all get to do it at the same time together,” said Guyton, who noted other Allen products, like Oklahoma WR Lee Morris and Ole Miss DB Jaylon Jones, should be in the mix to be drafted next season.

While the others go to Indianapolis, Guyton will continue training in the D-FW area — a place he has embraced for the majority of his football career after a brief detour out of high school.

Guyton was Murray’s go-to target during their junior and senior years at Allen — both of which resulted in 6A state titles for the Eagles. Guyton had 124 catches, 2,798 yards and 35 touchdowns during those last two seasons and ultimately committed to Notre Dame [Full high school stats, courtesy of SportsDayHS: 2013 season | 2014 season]. Things in South Bend didn’t go as planned, though, and after redshirting his freshman year, he transferred to Trinity Valley CC for a year to mull his next FBS move.

Guyton ultimately decided to move back closer to home and made his final transfer to North Texas, where he started at WR for the Mean Green the last two seasons.

“I love Allen, I love North Texas and the whole state of Texas,” Guyton said. “So that was a huge selling point for me.”

Since arriving in Denton for the 2017 season, Guyton was either first or second on the team in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns each season. He combined for more than 100 catches, 1,500 yards and 15 touchdown catches in his two seasons with the Mean Green. At the culmination of the 2018 season, Guyton opted to forgo his redshirt senior season and turn pro.

When it came to making a decision on where to prepare for his professional career, Guyton knew he wanted to stay close to home once again.

“I get to stay right at home with my people,” Guyton said. “This is my community, this is where I grew up, these are the people that I’m comfortable with.”

The perfect cherry on top for Guyton would be a landing spot with the Dallas Cowboys, where he could continue to play in front of a home crowd. But Guyton is realistic when it comes to the next step of his football career, and he’s more focused on making sure it happens rather than worrying about where it may be.

“I’ve grown up in Dallas, so [landing with the Cowboys] would be like a dream come true,” he said. “If I got signed by Dallas, I wouldn’t even believe my whole life was real.

“But at the same time, the overall goal, the overall dream, has always just been to make it to the league, so this whole process has been surreal in itself. Getting signed period, getting drafted, is going to be something that I’ll remember forever. Regardless of where I go, it’ll be a dream come true.”

More on Kyler Murray to the NFL

Murray officially chooses football over baseball: ‘I was raised to play QB’

Murray is about to give the NFL the Johnny Football experience it never got

NFL mock draft tracker: Where experts have Murray being selected

How Murray’s decision to choose NFL could impact the Dallas Cowboys

Is Murray tall enough? A look inside the NFL’s history of height (or lack thereof) at QB

Film room: Can Murray succeed in the NFL? Breaking down his skill set

Why Murray the NFL quarterback made more sense than Murray the MLB outfielder

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