By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
New York City — Baker Mayfield has won the 2017 Heisman Trophy Award. He was the front-runner of the award for the much of the latter part of the season.
He is also the first walk-on to ever win the prestigious Heisman Trophy. In addition, this is the second straight year that Mayfield was invited to the festivities in the Big Apple.
“My family, love you guys,” Mayfield said with tears in his eyes during his acceptance speech. “There were times that we had to move, and you guys made sacrifice after sacrifice just so I could chase my dreams.
“I wouldn’t be here without you. Love you.”
It was always a dream for Mayfield to play for the Sooners. He used to wear Oklahoma gear to school when he was younger. During his speech, he also told children to never give up on their dreams.
“You’ve got to be self-confident,” Mayfield said. “With social media and all sorts of things in today’s day and age, there’s a lot of negativity, and there’s something to be said about having good-old confidence in yourself and having a true belief.
“It’s about facing adversity, embracing mistakes and being upfront about it and moving forward and being better in the future.”
Mayfield never gave up, even when he faced a lot of distractions. He was arrested earlier this year in Arkansas and even made a lewd gesture in the Kansas Jayhawks game a few weeks back that ultimately cost him the start in the West Virginia game.
Despite the issues that he faced, his performances have been stellar on the field. He was a Finalist for the award in 2016 and finished in the Top 4 in 2015, his first season as a walk-on with the Sooners following his transfer from Texas Tech, where he also walked-on.
Mayfield finished third last season, as Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson won the award. The senior, who came back to the school for one more season, came the sixth Oklahoma player, who has won this award.
The Sooners are now tied with the USC Trojans for the second-most Heisman Trophy winners of all-time. Both schools have six each.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Ohio State Buckeyes lead with seven winners each.
Mayfield is the first Sooner to win the Heisman Trophy since Sam Bradford in 2008. Bradford had 61.13% of the vote as a sophomore.
Since 2000, Mayfield is the third Oklahoma quarterback to win the award. Jason White, a junior, won the award in 2003 with 53.54% of the vote.
The other three Sooners to win the award were Billy Vessels in 1952 (running back), Steve Owens in 1967 (running back) and Billy Sims in 1978 (running back).
The Heisman Trophy has been a quarterback-driven award. Yet, there have been running backs, who have won it previously.
Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love was the second place finisher. Jackson, who has a Heisman vote, finished third in the balloting.
Mayfield received 2,398 points. Love received 1,300 points and Jackson had 793. He had the third-most voting percentage of all-time, trailing only Troy Smith and Marcus Mariota.
“All he wanted was a chance,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “All he wanted was a chance to be the starting quarterback [in high school]. All he wanted was a chance to be the starting quarterback at Texas Tech, Oklahoma and to earn scholarships. When he’s had those chances in his life, he’s proven himself.”