It is near the end of my list of the best returning QBs. We are down to the Top 2. And coming in at my #2 spot is…
#2- University of Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. When I look at my prototype quarterbacks the first thing I look for is that passion and heart. I like quarterbacks that actually show emotion, quarterbacks just like Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Probably one of the smaller guys on this list but he plays so much bigger than his stature. Mayfield started his career at Texas Tech as a walk-on and he won the starting job. After that year, he left and transferred to Oklahoma. Last year in his first year with the Sooners, Mayfield passed for 3700 yards, 37 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. And also had an impact in the run game. He rushed for 405 yards and had seven rushing touchdowns. He led the Sooners to a 11-2 record and a College Playoff appearance. Let’s take a look back at Mayfield’s best three games from the 2015 season.
And to no surprise, I start with their 2OT game at Tennessee in week 2. It was one of the magical games of the season, but before the ending the Sooners were down 17-3 going into the fourth quarter. Then enters Baker Mayfield. His start to this game was very poor. In the first three quarters, Mayfield went 8 for 25 on his passes, 84 yards, and two interceptions. But, from the fourth quarter on he was almost unstoppable. He hit 11 of his last 14 passes, threw three touchdown passes, and ran for a score as well. He overcame the big deficit and won the game in the second overtime 31-24. This was the game where the College Football world was introduced to Baker Mayfield. Next week there was no big game hangover for Mayfield.
Next week, week 3, the Sooners played the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. Baker Mayfield lit up the field that day. He was 32 for 38 on his passes, threw for a season high 487 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had 2 scores on the ground and 85 yards rushing. It was his most all-purpose yard all season. In this game, he also had a season high passer rating of 226.6. He accounted for six of the seven touchdowns the Sooners scored. The Sooners won the game 52-38. This was the game that put Mayfield into the Heisman Race. This game was one of the most impressive games I saw all year from any quarterback in the nation. This back-to-back great games by Mayfield gave the Sooner fans something to celebrate about again.
In week 11, the Sooners were playing for their Big 12 Championship when they went to Waco when they played the undefeated Baylor Bears. Just like I expected Baker Mayfield played with no fear. Mayfield didn’t care that they were undefeated or the a Top 10 Big 12 opponent. He didn’t even care that Baylor had the FBS longest home-win streak of 20. By the end of the day the Baylor Bears didn’t get their 21st straight home-win, but they did get their first lost of the 2015 season. Mayfield threw for 270 yards on 70% passing, threw three touchdowns and one interception. On the ground, he had 76 yards and one score. At this point in the season, this was Mayfield’s 7th game with four touchdowns, which was tied for most in the nation. Mayfield and the Sooners ended the Bears’ College Playoff hopes and started theirs.
This 2015 campaign for Baker Mayfield was otherworldly. It was a beautiful season for a player that has been a walk-on and a transfer student. Mayfield has that “It” factor about him. He reminds me of Johnny Manziel. Both quarterbacks are very passionate about the game and the game very similar. In the 2016 season, the sky is the limit for OU and Baker Mayfield. They could easily run the table and come into the Playoff with no losses. Baker Mayfield could even cap his individual season of with the Heisman Trophy. At the end of the day, the Sooners season is almost completely dependent of how good Mayfield is. And I am sure that Baker Mayfield would want it no other way.