Officially a Heisman candidate, Mayfield's wild ride continues

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield runs with the ball during the Sooners' game against TCU, Saturday, during the Big 12 Championship game at AT&T Stadium. 

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

NORMAN — Baker Mayfield’s special week started out a little ominous.

Oklahoma’s redshirt senior quarterback announced Sunday he had to change his cell phone number, after it was posted online.

A group of Georgia fans — No. 2 OU will play the No. 3 Bulldogs in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl — left him a number of “creative” voice messages, Mayfield wrote on Twitter.

Monday, he attended the Burlsworth Award ceremony in Springdale, Arkansas, as back-to-back winner of the honor given to the nation’s top player who began his career as a walk-on, but didn’t win this time.

Instead, the Burlsworth Foundation gave Washington State quarterback Luke Falk the nod.

Mayfield took it in stride and, by Monday night, good news — albeit expected – finally arrived when he was officially announced as a Heisman Trophy finalist for the second consecutive year.

He and Georgia running back Herschel Walker are the only players to finish in the top four of the Heisman voting in three different seasons. 

Mayfield will try to join the fraternity of OU’s previous winners Sam Bradford (2008), Jason White (2003), Billy Sims (1978), Steven Owens (1969) and Billy Vessels (1952) when the award is announced at 7 p.m. central Saturday in New York.

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning Heisman winner, and Stanford running back Bryce Love are the only other 2017 finalists.

These days, life comes at Mayfield pretty fast. 

Early Monday, the Dan Patrick Show was forced to live up to its word, when Patrick told Mayfield during an Aug. 25 phone interview on the show that if the QB threw more than 40 touchdown passes this season he would try to connect Mayfield with Justin Timberlake to serve as a backup dancer.

Mayfield’s dance moves are somewhat legendary, but his arm is even more so. He threw his 41st TD pass against TCU on Saturday, prompting OU football’s official Twitter account to reach out to the Dan Patrick Show about its promise.

“We’re working on it,” the show’s executive producer Paul Pabst tweeted in response.

Mayfield and JT on the same stage? Why not?

There’s never a dull moment in Mayfield’s world.

The ride continues Thursday at The Home Depot College Football awards, where Mayfield is a finalist for the Maxwell Award (college player of the year) and Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s best quarterback). The show begins at 6 p.m. central on ESPN.

Friday, he will meet reporters in New York ahead of Saturday’s Heisman Trophy presentation as a heavy favorite for the award, resting comfortably atop all major Heisman Watch lists and with odds so high Bovada took them off the board recently.

His 4,340 yards passing are second nationally, and with a 203.8 pass efficiency rating he is on pace to break his FBS-record mark of 196.3 last season. 

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