For Baker Mayfield, this week’s ceremonial tour now includes a stop in New York City.
Mayfield, the Oklahoma quarterback who graduated from Lake Travis High in 2013, was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy on Monday evening. Mayfield is joined by Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and Stanford running back Bryce Love among the finalists for college football’s top honor. Jackson, who won the award in 2016, is looking to become the Heisman Trophy’s second two-time winner. The other is Ohio State’s Archie Griffin, who accomplished the feat in 1974 and 1975.
The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner is set to be revealed on Saturday night in New York City. Mayfield will also attend award ceremonies this week in Atlanta and Springdale, Ark.
This will be the third straight year that Mayfield has contended for the Heisman Trophy. He finished fourth in the voting for the 2015 award, although he did not make the trip to New York City as a finalist. Mayfield was one of five finalists last year, but his third-place score of 361 points fell far behind Jackson’s winning total of 2,144.
This year, Mayfield boasts the resume of a front-runner. He has led Oklahoma to a 12-1 record and a spot in the College Football Playoffs.
Mayfield ranks second nationally in passing yards (4,340) and passing touchdowns (41). Thanks to a 71.0 completion percentage and only five interceptions over his 369 pass attempts, Mayfield has claimed a 203.8 passing efficiency. Last year, he set the FBS record with an efficiency mark of 196.4.
“He’ll make you pull your hair out as an opposing coach,” Texas coach Tom Herman said in the days leading up to a 29-24 loss to the Sooners on Oct. 14. “But if he’s not the front runner for the Heisman Trophy right now, I don’t know who is.”
A win on Saturday would give Oklahoma its sixth Heisman Trophy winner and first since Sam Bradford edged out Texas’ Colt McCoy in 2008. Mayfield is also looking to join former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who hails from Copperas Cove, as the only Austin-area products to earn Heisman honors.
A two-year starter at Lake Travis, Mayfield led the Cavaliers to the 2011 Class 4A, Division I championship. Mayfield attracted a few scholarship offers but decided to walk on at Texas Tech instead.
Mayfield won the starting job at Texas Tech, but he eventually left Lubbock after a falling out with head coach Kliff Kingsbury. He once again walked on at Oklahoma, and Mayfield earned that starting job after sitting out the 2014 season.