Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield discusses Heisman race, pick for the playoff, more
One of the most charismatic players in college football this year is having a good week. First, on Saturday, Baker Mayfield led Oklahoma to the Big 12 title with a 38–20 win over rival Oklahoma State. On Monday, he found out he and his receiver teammate Dede Westbrook were both headed to New York City as Heisman Trophy finalists. Also on Monday, Mayfield was awarded the Burlsworth Trophy for the second consecutive year as the most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.
Before finishing up on the awards circuit, Mayfield chatted with Campus Rush about his picks for the Heisman and the College Football Playoff and what he wants for Christmas this year.
Lindsay Schnell: What New York City landmark or tourist attraction do you most want to visit while there for the Heisman?
Baker Mayfield: Oooh, I want to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
LS: You’re headed to the Heisman ceremony with your teammate and friend, who also happens to be one of, if not the, best receiver in college football this year. If you had a Heisman vote, who would you rank No. 1, and why?
BM: He would get it. He’s the most dangerous man in college football with the ball in his hands. He can change the game in one play, and really he’s such a great leader. He can impact our offense and our whole team by the way he performs. He can be vocal and also be quiet and just go do his thing. It makes a world of a difference for our team—and it has, obviously, because we had the undefeated conference record.
LS: What’s your favorite Dede Westbrook highlight this season?
BM: Either the diving catch he had in the end zone against Kansas or, actually, it’s hard to beat the one against Baylor where he somehow stayed in bounds, put his hand on the ground and tip-toed down the sideline.
LS: What’s your favorite personal highlight this season?
BM: It might have been the throw for the diving catch in the end zone.
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LS: Oklahoma opened the seasons with two of the toughest non-conference games in the country in its first three weeks, and neither of them went as you planned. But you just won the Big 12 title. How were you able to rally and not let those early losses cripple your confidence?
BM: It’s about how you bounce back. Obviously we would have liked two of the first three to have gone differently, but it wasn’t like they were mediocre teams at all. We had to realize that we were very close to executing on a lot of things and also realized that we hadn’t played a conference game yet, so our destiny was in our own hands. We had to take care of business to get where we are right now and that was the mindset, and we continue to do that.
LS: Tell me one thing people would be surprised to know about Bob Stoops?
BM: Every once in a while, he’ll rock a pair of Jordans.
LS: You’re a repeat winner of the Burlsworth Trophy, presented annually to a player who started his career as a walk-on. As someone who walked on twice—once at Texas Tech and once at Oklahoma—what would you say to other walk-ons who are just starting their college journey?
BM: It’s never going to be easy. You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself because you’re going to hear a lot of things that you don’t want to hear. You have to keep believing in yourself and your own ability and never take no for an answer. Just don’t give up.
LS: Growing up, which player did you try to model your game after?
BM: I loved watching Brett Farve, and as I kept growing I became a fan of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. As of recent, it’s been Drew Brees and Russell Wilson.
LS: Your Fu Manchu mustache has been getting a lot of attention. What facial hair trend do you plan to try next?
BM: I don’t know. I guess people will have to wait and see because I’ll break it out at a random time.
LS: What are the three Netflix or TV shows you’re absolutely addicted to?
BM: Blacklist, Lie to Me and Shameless.
LS: Who is your celebrity crush?
BM: Well, I mean, there’s a lot of things I’d do to BE Justin Timberlake, but if we’re talking females, probably Blake Lively.
LS: What’s your first Christmas memory?
BM: Oh, wow, that’s a tough question. Probably making cookies with my mom and then barely being able to sleep, waking up so early and getting mad at everyone that they wanted to eat breakfast before opening presents.
LS: Besides a Sugar Bowl win, what’s on your Christmas list this year?
BM: A phone case that will finally protect my phone because I drop it all the time.
LS: Do you have one of those screen protectors that are, like, $30? Those work pretty well.
BM: I used to. It didn’t work.
LS: Who is your pick to win the College Football Playoff?
BM: Oh, um, hmm, I think … Bama.