Fox Sports’ feature on Baker Mayfield, ‘All The Way Up’, aired on Sunday, and the Heisman Trophy winner didn’t hold back when it came to his time in Lubbock.
Mayfield saw the field as a walk-on true freshman for the Red Raiders in 2013, and led them to their first 5-0 start since 2008. He felt like he was the man, but all that changed when he suffered a right knee injury.
Mayfield was able to return to the field for their final three games of the season after about a month on the sidelines, but things weren’t the same as they fell to Kansas State, Baylor and Texas.
“It went from being ‘the guy’ for Coach Kingsbury to when I got hurt, it just changed a little bit … not a little bit, a lot,” Mayfield said. “All the sudden, it was as if I hadn’t played for him, hadn’t done anything for him. It was just different after I got hurt.”
As you probably already know, Mayfield left Texas Tech after the season as it looked like he would not be offered a scholarship, and walked on at Oklahoma.
“I’ve invested a lot into this and now you’re telling me you don’t have a scholarship for a guy who won five games after choosing to come here?” Mayfield said. “That was the final straw for me.”
It’s not a great look for Texas Tech and coach Kingsbury having dirty laundry aired on national TV, but this isn’t really anything we didn’t already know. We knew Mayfield was frustrated that he wasn’t going to be offered a scholarship, though scholarships are typically handed to walk-ons the following spring as they become available. And we already knew that there was “miscommunication” and tension in the relationship, and that both sides feel like the other didn’t handle it very well.
For Kingsbury’s part, TMZ reached out for comment on Mayfield’s claims, but Kingsbury didn’t take the bait. He simply wished Mayfield luck in the NFL.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Baker and loved working with him,” Kingsbury said. “He had an incredible career at Oklahoma, and I wish him nothing but continued success as he begins his NFL career.”
Things worked out pretty well for Mayfield, too. He won the Heisman Trophy, and was the number one draft pick; selected by the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield is competing with Tyrod Taylor for the Browns starting role, and has reportedly exceeded expectations so far in camp.
“His arm strength is really impressive,” said former Brown’s quarterback Tim Couch. “Baker was dropping back putting his foot in the ground and throwing the football. That tells me he knows exactly where he’s going with the ball. It’s coming out on time and he’s accurate. He has a lot stronger arm than I thought he had seeing him on TV. I hadn’t seen him in person until yesterday. He has a strong arm.”