Texas Tech confirmed Thursday that walk-on freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield has left the program and will not be returning.
While Mayfield's departure is newsworthy, made even moreso by him being named Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year on Wednesday, it is not the devastating blow a casual observer might believe it to be.
As I pointed out earlier this month in a column breaking down the quarterback situation, of the three signal callers who saw playing time for the Red Raiders in 2013, Mayfield has the lowest ceiling.
It would have been much more detrimental to the program had either sophomore Michael Brewer or freshman Davis Webb left.
In fact, it's probably beneficial to Texas Tech he left, if for nothing else, so the scholarship he would have received will now go to an offensive lineman or better yet help shore up what has been a woeful defense. And Mayfield can go find a better situation for himself.
Rumors have been circulating as to why one of the top feel-good stories of the college football season decided to pack up and leave.
Mayfield told YNN-TV in Austin on Wednesday he's transferring over a "miscommunication" with the coaching staff. He also told the Austin American-Statesman that he informed Tech he would be transferring shortly after learning Brewer would start the Red Raiders' Holiday Bowl matchup with Arizona State on Dec. 30.
"I'm disappointed because I love Lubbock," Mayfield said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity they gave me and everything that Lubbock has done for me, but it's time to move on and start over."
The Lake Travis product started seven games this season for Tech, winning five, though he received assists from Webb against TCU, Texas State and Kansas and was pulled against both Baylor and Texas in the final two games of the regular season. Mayfield passed for 2,315 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushed for 190 yards and three scores.
His stock was never higher than following the season-opening victory over SMU, where he became the first walk-on freshman opening day starter in FBS history. He was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for throwing 413 yards and four touchdowns in the 41-23 win over the Mustangs.
Shortly following the win over SMU, this video of Mayfield "doing the Dougie" dance during fall camp, which further endeared him to the Tech fan base and played a part in him earning the moniker "Shake'N'Bake."
I don't begrudge him leaving and I won't speculate on the wisdom of his timing.
So long, Shake'N'Bake and good luck in your future endeavors.
So Long, Shake'N'Bake
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