Fort Worth – Oklahoma football legend Baker Mayfield strolled into the Fort Worth Club, dressed in an impeccable tuxedo, to officially continue his college football awards banquet victory tour.
After finishing as finalist for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien awards and the Heisman trophy last season, Mayfield swept all three awards in his final season at Norman while leading the Sooners to another Big 12 title. Tuesday, the reigning Heisman trophy winner returned to his home state to officially collect the Davey O’Brien award, given to the best quarterback in college football.
Mayfield was very gracious, and happy to accept the prestigious O’Brien award, but wanted everyone to know that winning the O’Brien and even the Heisman after coming close last year wasn’t his ultimate goal this season.
“As a competitor you always want to be the best there’s no doubt about that,” Mayfield said in an exclusive interview with LandGrant Gauntlet. “For me this year wasn’t just about me being an award winner. I wanted to win a national title because when you win a national title as a team the individual accolades come along with it; but at the end of the day as a competitor in general you want to be the best in every aspect.”
Mayfield will cap off his award banquet tour on March 8th, when he travels to Florida to collect his Maxwell award.
For those thinking Mayfield is siting on his laurels basking in the success from this season; think again. The six-foot, dime dropping quarterback has been working tirelessly on his craft in Los Angeles to get ready for next week’s NFL combine.
Despite having a Hall of Fame caliber college career, Baker is unsure of how NFL scouts are going to view him on draft day, though Mayfield knows he’s ready for any challenge ahead of him on the next level thanks to his time spent in Norman
“Playing at Oklahoma taught me how to work and pushed me to new heights because I knew how to work before I got there but it allowed me to push myself mentally and physically to new heights that I never thought I was capable off,” Mayfield said. “OU has developed and connected me with relationships that I will carry on for a long time. It’s also afforded me to be around great people and made me realize I’ve never done it alone and have always had a great supporting cast and that I always need to use my resources available.”
One would think after throwing for 14,320 yards in the Big 12 and accounting for over 130 touchdowns in his career that Mayfield would be viewed by scouts as a can’t miss prospect. Instead, people compare him to former Heisman winner and first round NFL draft pick Johnny Manziel while overlooking Mayfield’s contributions on the field.
No matter what you think about the Big 12 conference a whole, Baker spent the past four seasons lighting it up, and at this point, it’s very hard to find reasons to dismiss the star quarterback. Mentally and physically, Baker feels that he’s as ready for the NFL as anyone in this draft.
“No matter if I’m the first or taken in the first round of the draft, I plan on keeping that chip there because you always have to play with an edge and I’ve always played with one and had success,” Mayfield said. “People who say that my stats are high because I played in the Big 12 don’t know about offense and don’t realize those offenses are going to put up points on everybody. Yes the numbers are a little askew but that’s what happens when [you’ve] got some of the best quarterbacks and receivers in the nation in the same conference.
Mayfield added that he has a message for NFL teams on what he wants to do at the next level:
“Moving forward I plan on pushing my guys wherever I’m drafted to move forward and win games.”
Like him or hate him, it’s abundantly clear that whatever NFL organization takes a chance on Mayfield will be getting a fiery, hard-worker, with a drive to be the best, while playing with a big chip on his shoulder as he looks to lead his team to wins. For anyone with questions about Baker, I have one final answer: Mayfield is a winner, and if you need any proof, just ask every school in the Big 12. His dominance, heart, and energy will translate to the next level.