Baker Mayfield of the University of Oklahoma won the 83rd Heisman Memorial Trophy on Saturday evening; awarded to the Most Outstanding College Football Player during the 2017 season. Mayfield is the 37th QB to win the award, but the first to start his collegiate career as a walk-on. Just prior to winning the award, Baker spoke exclusively with JohnWallStreet about the financial struggles his family incurred so that he could pursue his athletic dreams.
JWS: You become the starter at Texas Tech and then decided to leave to walk-on at Oklahoma. Did TTU award you a scholarship once you became the starter, and if so, was it hard to walk away from that money?
Mayfield: Oh, I didn’t have a scholarship; I didn’t leave one. Never had one there. It came down to not having one there and following my dreams. I dreamt of playing of playing for OU and quite frankly, my heart wasn’t in it there (TTU).
JWS: Was the cost of college a financial strain on your family?
Mayfield: Just to put in perspective, it’s why I walked on in-state at first; tuition money was pretty expensive. They (his parents) made so many sacrifices for me, just to go to OU; there is a reason why I work so hard. They’ve given a lot to put me in the position I’m in today so I want to give back and do everything I can for them.
JWS: Can you be specific and discuss some of the sacrifices that allowed you to become the Oklahoma starting QB?
Mayfield: We moved 4 or 5 times my senior year just so we could live in the same school district, so that I could finish my senior year at Lake Travis. Then, as soon as I graduated, they moved in with my mom’s parents for almost 2 years. So, that’s pretty hard. I grew up in the same house for 17 years and then all of a sudden, we move that many times and then they left that town and went with my mom’s parents. That just explains how they are, their character and what they would do for our family; and it means a lot.
Howie Long-Short: Stanford RB Bryce Love finished as the runner-up; the 5th time a Cardinal player has placed 2nd since 2009 (Gerhart, Luck, Luck, McCaffery). Love finished high-school with a 4.5 GPA, is majoring in pediatrics and human biology and plans on becoming a pediatrician at the completion of his football career. JWS got the chance to ask him why a future NFL star takes his studies so seriously?
Love: Academics is really the backbone of everything. That’s the beauty of going to Stanford; you have an opportunity to master the specific concentration that you go in to. Obviously, you can’t play football forever; once that comes to an end, you have an ability to really contribute to the world in positive ways.
Fan Marino: Mayfield’s win makes him the 6th Sooner to win the award; joining Sam Bradford, Jason White, Billy Sims, Steve Owens and Billy Vessels. Only Notre Dame and USC, both with 7, have had more. Ohio State also has 6; including Archie Griffin (’74-’75), the only 2x award winner.
For the balance of today’s newsletter, sign-up here!