If voting tendencies for other postseason honors are any indication, it sure seems like Baker Mayfield will add the most prestigious one to his growing list of achievements on Saturday. The Oklahoma Sooners quarterback has been selected as the 2017 AP Player of the Year in convincing fashion, easily outpacing fellow Heisman Trophy candidates Bryce Love and Lamar Jackson in the voting.
Mayfield, a senior, received 51 of the 56 available first-place votes, accruing 157 total points. Love, a star running back for the Stanford Cardinal, came in second, while Louisville Cardinals superstar Jackson finished third. The same trio was named finalists for the Heisman Trophy last week, which will be awarded in a ceremony on Saturday from New York City.
Quarterbacks Josh Heupel (2000), Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008) were the last Oklahoma players to win the AP Player of the Year Award. Despite coming off a season in which he threw for 38 touchdowns, Mayfield’s incredible success in 2017 is still noteworthy considering his humble college football beginnings.
He began his career as a walk-on with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, becoming the first true freshman non-scholarship player to start a season-opener in college football history. After winning Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2013, Mayfield announced his decision to transfer due to disagreement with the coaching staff. Interestingly, he enrolled at Oklahoma in January 2014 before telling coach Bob Stoops of his intentions to play for the Sooners. Mayfield was named Oklahoma’s starter in 2015, after sitting out the previous season’s entirety as a result of NCAA transfer rules.