With the Oklahoma season opener against Houston looming a little more than a week away, the Sooners’ starting quarterback is preparing for his second year playing on the field with Oklahoma. But, what do you not know about the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year? Below are seven things that you might not, but should, know about Baker Mayfield.
1. He started for two DI football programs as a walk-on.
When Mayfield stepped onto Texas Tech’s field as an un-recruited walk-on, few believed that he would lead the team to a 7-0 start, but he did just that. However, as a childhood fan of the Sooners, he decided to transfer to Oklahoma, where he walked-on to the Sooners football team. Here, he proved his worth as a consistent quarterback and ended up starting in 2015.
2. Quentin Griffin, Mark Clayton and Antonio Perkins are Mayfield’s favorite former Sooners.
Oklahoma Athletics asked him to pick one and he couldn’t, saying that he used to run around in a Griffin jersey as a kid and went to the game where Perkins broke the record for punt return yards against UCLA.
“Those guys were always fun to watch,” Mayfield said.
3. He almost quit football to become a professional gamer.
Mayfield, during his high school years, said he thought about quitting football because it was interfering with playing Halo, a critically-acclaimed, first-person shooter game. Today, he still plays Halo with almost as much skill as he has in football, but his main focus is his position as quarterback.
4. The Sooners passed him up out of high school.
Instead of Mayfield, the team chose Cody Thomas, a four-star recruit out of Colleyville, Texas. In 2012, Mayfield was described as “a fairly efficient passer,” whereas Thomas’s scouting report included phrases like “one of the best pro-style passers this class has to offer” and “looks like a college player.” Mayfield just couldn’t measure up at the time. However, Oklahoma didn’t pass up the second opportunity to nab him.
5. He is a communications major.
It might work out well for him. Throughout his college football career, he has the opportunity to make connections with plenty communications professionals; he sees what the job is like from both sides and, with the knowledge he gains from the game, he could become an analyst. It’s not a bad move for him, especially if that professional gamer path doesn’t work out for him.
6. His first love is baseball.
Mayfield said in an interview with Oklahoma Athletics that in high school, he played at first base as the only junior to start, mostly because he could hit and needed him in the lineup. He played all over the infield growing up, but his main spots were shortstop and third base. He also said that he would try out for the Texas Rangers, but right now, he is too busy as a quarterback and a student.
7. Both his parents attended Houston.
The opening game this year might be causing some tension in the Mayfield household. Mayfield told Oklahoma Athletics that his parents used to sing the fight song around their house, but he hasn’t heard it recently. Houston and Oklahoma go head-to-head Sept. 3, and it is said to be a close, impactful game. Both teams are fighting to see who is truly poised to secure post-season play this year.