Sooners QB Mayfield runs away with Heisman

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For the reason that NCAA started permitting athletic scholarships in 1950, no participant to win the Heisman Trophy ever began his profession as a walk-on.

Baker Mayfield modified that Saturday evening.

Mayfield, the Oklahoma quarterback whose storybook saga started with him walking-on to Texas Tech, captured the 83rd Heisman in a landslide victory.

He collected 732 first-place votes and a couple of,398 factors in voting totals. Stanford operating again Bryce Love was second with 1,300 factors (75 first-place votes); Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, final 12 months’s Heisman winner, was third with 793 (47).

For Mayfield, it was the third-highest proportion of attainable factors acquired (86 %) since 1950, behind Ohio State’s Troy Smith (2006) and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (2014).

Mayfield turned the primary senior to win the Heisman since Smith in 2006. Earlier within the week, he additionally gained the Davey O’Brien (greatest quarterback) and Maxwell (participant of the 12 months) awards; the Related Press and Walter Camp additionally each named him their participant of the 12 months.

“That is unbelievable for me, being up right here amongst these greats,” Mayfield mentioned upon receiving the award, with previous Heisman winners standing behind him. “It is one thing that phrases cannot even describe. God has put me on this place that I am so blessed, and a number of occasions I’m wondering why. But it surely’s such an honor to be up right here. It is unbelievable.”

Mayfield has put collectively one of the crucial spectacular particular person offensive seasons within the sport’s historical past and, within the course of, led Oklahoma to the School Soccer Playoff for the second time in three years. The Sooners will open the playoff in opposition to Georgia within the Rose Bowl on New Yr’s Day.

He has accomplished 71 % of his passes and thrown for four,340 yards and 41 touchdowns with solely 5 interceptions. Mayfield can also be averaging 11.eight yards per passing try, which might shatter the FBS file that Mayfield set final season.

With Mayfield operating the present, the Sooners have posted the very best offensive effectivity ranking since ESPN started monitoring the metric in 2005. Since Mayfield took over as Oklahoma’s beginning quarterback in 2015, the Sooners led the FBS in factors per sport, offensive touchdowns, yards per sport and yards per play during the last three seasons.

This season, Mayfield turned the 10th participant in FBS historical past to throw for 14,000 yards in a profession. However he is the primary of these to hurry for 1,000 yards, as nicely.

Mayfield has additionally moved forward of former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman winner Sam Bradford for the FBS file for profession passing effectivity.

Mayfield turned simply the fifth participant ever — and joined Georgia’s Herschel Walker as solely the second in 68 years — to complete within the prime 4 of the Heisman voting thrice. The opposite three to do it, SMU’s Doak Walker, Military’s Glenn Davis and Military’s Doc Blanchard, all achieved the feat through the 1940s. Earlier than Mayfield, Blanchard was additionally the one different Heisman winner to switch from one FBS-level program to a different. Blanchard performed at North Carolina earlier than becoming a member of Military.

Mayfield gave Oklahoma its sixth Heisman winner, which strikes the Sooners right into a tie with USC for the third-most all-time (not together with Reggie Bush’s 2005 vacated Heisman). Alongside fellow Heisman winners Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims, Jason White and Bradford, Oklahoma will quickly erect a statue of Mayfield in its Heisman Park, which sits simply to the east of Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium.

“It has been a dream come true to play at OU,” Mayfield mentioned. “Though I grew up in Austin, Texas, I used to be at all times Sooner-born and Sooner-bred. And you understand, they are saying, ‘after I die I will be Sooner-dead,’ and I actually imply that. It has been a dream for me. And it is an honor to characterize my college.”

After he gained the beginning job as a walk-on true freshman at Texas Tech, Mayfield bolted for Oklahoma. Mayfield confirmed up in Norman in 2014 with out an invite from then-coach Bob Stoops, a lot much less the promise of a scholarship. However Mayfield had grown up a Sooner fan residing in Austin, Texas, and wished to see if he may make it at his “dream college.”

Then, after sitting out the primary season as an ineligible switch, Mayfield beat out incumbent Trevor Knight for the beginning job. In 2015, he led Oklahoma to the playoff on his strategy to posting a 34-5 profession file with the Sooners.

“There’s lots of people who put effort into this. Coach Stoops, you welcomed a chubby, unathletic child into this system with open arms,” Mayfield mentioned. “I would not say that many would try this, however thanks.”

Mayfield’s Heisman 12 months, nonetheless, did not come with out obstacles and controversy that he principally created for himself and needed to overcome.

Within the early morning of Feb. 25, Mayfield was arrested in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on chargers of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing. A month later, police launched dash-cam video of Mayfield making an attempt to run away from the scene earlier than officers tackled him right into a wall. Mayfield agreed to a plea deal that eradicated the resisting arrest cost. After Oklahoma’s first spring observe, he spoke publicly for nearly a half-hour, noting he realized he’d “let down” many individuals.

Twice through the season, Mayfield’s on-field antics stirred up controversy, as nicely.

Following one of many largest wins of his profession, a 31-16 victory over Ohio State on Sept. 9, Mayfield planted an Oklahoma area at midfield of Ohio Stadium. Two days later, he apologized, saying he “did not imply for it to be disrespectful.”

Mayfield additionally would apologize after grabbing his crotch and cursing on the Kansas sidelines on Nov. 18. In flip, coach Lincoln Riley suspended Mayfield from beginning the ultimate dwelling sport of his profession and briefly stripped him of his captain standing. However after sitting out the primary collection, Mayfield handed for 3 touchdowns within the victory over West Virginia. Then the next week, he handed for an additional 4 scores to propel the Sooners previous TCU within the Large 12 championship sport, which successfully punched Oklahoma’s ticket to the playoff.

And clinched the Heisman for Mayfield.

Mayfield mentioned Saturday evening that Riley’s hiring in June “modified my life.”

“Coach Riley, you have been a terrific mentor to me,” Mayfield mentioned. “We have been by means of so much collectively, so I admire you.”

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