Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield took his first subway ride in Manhattan Saturday, from Times Square to the financial district, but the greenhorn from Texas experienced his first delay, as well, en route to the Charging Bull statue by Wall St. He ran into the turnstile, not knowing he needed to swipe a metro card.
“That was pretty embarrassing,” he said.
Redemption came at night back in midtown. Mayfield, a senior, won the 83rd Heisman Trophy award at the Playstation Theatre on West 44th St. He defeated Stanford tailback Bryce Love and defending champion Lamar Jackson from Louisville. Once a walk-on at Texas Tech who transferred to Oklahoma, where he also walked on, Mayfield’s became the first walk-on to win the award.
“It’s been a long journey,” he said.
He wore a Texas flag pin to display his roots in Austin on his blue suit as he received the trophy, and expressed gratitude for the opportunity afforded him on campus in Norman, Okla. He threw 41 touchdown passes and 5 interceptions this season. He also competed 71% of his passes. It was the third time that he finished in the top four of the Heisman voting, and he received 732 first place votes this time. Love, the second-place finisher, tallied 75 first-place votes. Mayfield thanked former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops for welcoming a “chubby, unathletic kid” into the program. Mayfield grew emotional as he thanked his coaches and parents.
It’s been a wild ride,” Mayfield said. “When I was watching the ceremony as a kid, you dream of being here. I watched it every year.”
Mayfield proved to be a menace for opposing defenses. He threw at least two touchdowns per game and tallied a season-high five touchdown passes during Bedlam, the annual battle against Oklahoma State. In all, he accounted for 4,340 yards in the air and 310 yards on the ground. His most viral moment came against Kansas when he grabbed his crotch in responding to Jayhawks players who tried to rough him up with late hits on the field.
Oklahoma’s contingent in New York included former Sooners running back Billy Sims. He won the Heisman in 1978 and welcomed Mayfield into the fraternity at the theatre by shouting, “Boooommmmer! Boooommmmer!” Mayfield readied to pivot to the practice field for bowl game preparations. Oklahoma faces Georgia in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day for a berth in the College Football Playoff championship game.
“I’m gonna hit it full throttle,” Mayfield said.
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