Baker Mayfield took a unique road to the Heisman Trophy, a long and winding climb from walk-on to one of the most accomplished players to ever play college football. The brash, flag-planting Oklahoma quarterback became the sixth Sooner to the win Heisman on Saturday night in one of the most lopsided votes in the 83-year history of the award, reports the AP. Stanford running back Bryce Love was runner-up. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, last year's Heisman winner, was third, the best finish by a returning winner since Tim Tebow in 2008. Mayfield received 732 first-place votes and 2,398 points; 86% of the total points available, the third-highest percentage in Heisman history behind Ohio State's Troy Smith (91.63%) in 2006 and Oregon's Marcus Mariota (90.92%) in 2014. Mayfield is the first senior to win since Smith and the first to begin his career as a walk-on since athletic scholarships started in the 1950s. "It's been a tough journey," he said.
Mayfield entered this season as a Heisman favorite and jumped toward the front of the pack when he led the Sooners to an early victory at Ohio State that he celebrated by planting the OU flag in Horseshoe turf. He later apologized, but Mayfield's career has been marked by spectacular play fueled by grudges and trying to prove doubters wrong. Moxie is the word that gets attached to Mayfield often, but at times poor judgment has gotten him in trouble on and off the field. Those were really the only marks on Mayfield's Heisman resume because his play has been consistently stellar. He has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns this season for the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-1). For his career, Mayfield is eighth in FBS history in yards passing (14,320) and sixth in touchdown passes (129).