He’s from Austin (Texas) Lake Travis, basically right there in the backyard of the Texas Longhorns. But for Baker Mayfield, it was never about the burnt orange. It was always about the crimson and cream.
Despite not being from the area, Mayfield has always been quick to point out he wanted to be an Oklahoma Sooner. He wanted to be the next great quarterback to play at Owen Field.
Mayfield is going to get his chance as sources confirmed to Sooners Illustrated on Monday afternoon Mayfield will be named OU’s starting quarterback.
So how did a kid from Austin, Texas, end up wanting to be a Sooner?
“I was actually coming to the games before they built this upper deck on this side,” said Mayfield earlier this month. “I came, what was that, 2000? 2001? Used to come up. I remember when they were doing the construction so it’s been a long time.”
His father played at the University of Houston and met a lot of guys from OU during the Barry Switzer era. Relationships formed, and Mayfield remembers going down on the field during pregame when he was younger.
“We’d come up and stay with Mike Jones,” Mayfield said. “He’s still around the program. He still lives in Norman. He was a coach in the Switzer era. We’d stay with him and hang out for the weekend, go to the game. It was just a whole family vacation.”
When Mayfield was initially going through the recruiting process, the Sooners weren’t employing the Air Raid offense and Mayfield wasn’t the type of quarterback OU was pursuing.
So even though the dream was OU, the reality was Texas Tech and Mayfield walked on for the Red Raiders and even started as a freshman before transferring following the 2013 season and taking a shot in the dark and walking on at OU.
“I was just kind of familiar with that offense in high school and also it was closer to home and money wise, it was a lot cheaper in state and Oklahoma’s pretty expensive,” Mayfield said. “It was just something I was familiar with.”
That familiar system is now in Norman with offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. And Mayfield, after having to sit out last season and waiting patiently, will get his first opportunity to show up what he can do in less than two weeks.