Baker Mayfield grew up in Austin, Texas, originally played college football at Texas Tech, and now has a forever home in the lore of Oklahoma football.
He had an historic 2016 season in which he was a Heisman Trophy finalist. The Sooners went 9-0 in conference play under Mayfield, becoming the first team ever in the Big 12 to do so.
Mayfield is the only player in OU history to register at least 5,000 passing yards (7,665) and at least 500 rushing yards (582) in a career.
Last year against West Virginia, Mayfield was 9 of 15 passing for 169 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard bomb to Dede Westbrook for the team’s second score of the game.
According to SI.com, he is the No. 2 player in college football behind only Derwin James of Florida State. James is a safety, so Mayfield is the top offensive talent in the country. The website said, “His QB rating easily led the country, as did his 70.9% completion rate and his ridiculous 11.1 yards per attempt (the highest figure by any college passer since Michael Vick in 1999). While the loss of fellow Heisman finalist Dede Westbrook as his primary receiver may seem a cause for concern, Mayfield faced similar questions entering last season without 2015 go-to target Sterling Shepard. Mayfield has the special ability all great QBs have—he makes his receivers better. Now it’s he who will have to be better to compensate for the loss of Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine in the Sooners’ running game.
There certainly will be challenges this season for Mayfield and the Sooners. They have a target on their backs. It will be up to the Mountaineers and the rest of the Big 12 to slow down this legendary threat.