Sporting News: The backstory behind Baker Mayfield’s journey from unwanted recruit to probable Heisman winner

Sporting News: The backstory behind Baker Mayfield’s journey from unwanted recruit to probable Heisman winner

NORMAN — The list is almost laughable.

Here’s a top quarterback recruit who never played a down of college football; there’s one who transferred to an FCS team, and now is laboring in an Italian professional league; here’s another who transferred from the Pac-12 to the AAC to Division II.

Another switched to tight end. And here’s one who quit football and now plays professional baseball, and another who threw just 35 passes in two years before deciding to become a regular student.

Ooh, look, there’s one who became the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

So other than maybe former Cal quarterback Jared Goff, who’s red hot in his second season with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, there’s not one quarterback in the 2013 recruiting class you’d rather have than Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.

Who, incidentally, wasn’t even on anybody’s list that year.

This year’s Heisman Trophy front runner, a 6-foot-nothin’ gunslinger with smooth dance moves, an unbendable will and a pile of self-made chips he likes to carry on his shoulder, was somehow unwanted as a high school football recruit.

“Well,” said Hank Carter, Mayfield’s coach at Lake Travis High School, “people wanted him. They just didn’t want him soon enough, or it wasn’t the right people that wanted him. His recruitment was late for a few reasons.”

To read the rest of John Hoover’s story at Sporting News, click here:


Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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