As a courtesy to Mack Brown, Kevin Sumlin and every other college coach who relies on scouts to assess high school football players, I offer my help.
Give me a call. Let’s chat. If I’m not here, ask for Danny Davis, who knows every blue-chip player in the Austin metro area. We’re here to help.
If someone had bothered to call us last year, we would have told you that Lake Travis quarterback Baker Mayfield would be a nice fit on almost any college football team. Believed to be the only walk-on true freshman quarterback to start a season-opener for a BCS conference school, Mayfield is being hailed as one of the surprise players in college football this year.
Roughly four months after accepting his high school diploma, Mayfield has created a buzz at Texas Tech similar to the one Johnny Manziel sparked last season at Texas A&M. After two games, Mayfield ranked third in the nation with an average of 390 passing yards per game despite his sitting out the second half of lopsided victory over Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
Mayfield might become the most overlooked football recruit in Central Texas since Westlake’s Drew Brees signed with Purdue in 1997.
Only a handful of college teams showed much interest in Mayfield. Any possible scholarship offers from Washington State, TCU, Rice or Texas Tech evaporated when those schools elected to sign other quarterbacks, and Mayfield had no interest in playing for Florida Atlantic.
Mayfield was prepared to sign with TCU until the Horned Frogs made a late offer to former Temple High quarterback Zach Allen, who had decommitted from Syracuse in January.
TCU coach Gary Patterson appeared to admit Monday that Mayfield was a big fish that got away.
“He came to our camp,” Patterson said. “For whatever reason, we didn’t (offer a scholarship). We’re not very smart.”
Lake Travis’ head coach, Hank Carter, said he and Cavaliers offensive coordinator David Collins were baffled by the lack of recruiting interest in Mayfield.
“Coach Collins and I were wondering if the college recruiters were seeing something different on video that we didn’t know about,” Carter said Monday.
Mayfield possesses all the skills to be a successful college quarterback, Carter said. He’s a solid 6-1, has a strong arm and scrambles well. An all-state honoree in two high school sports — football and baseball — Mayfield qualifies as an all-around athlete.
“And he’s a gamer,” Carter said.
Carter said two factors might have played a role in Mayfield’s lack of recruiting attention. As one of the top baseball players in Central Texas, Mayfield missed out on some recruiting visits to college campuses that took place in the spring. Also, an article about Mayfield on the MaxPreps web site, listed him as being 5-11, two inches shorter than his actual height.
“I had one guy who told me he was impressed by Baker, but it was too bad he’s only 5-11,” Carter recalled. “I see him in pads now, and he looks plenty big to me.”
Mayfield’s biggest test to date will come Thursday when the Red Raiders play host to TCU, the team that dropped him from its recruiting list after Allen spurned Syracuse.
”I haven’t been around many kids with a bigger chip on their shoulder and rightfully so,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
That chip will be squarely on Mayfield’s shoulder pads come Thursday night.