Oklahoma’s 54-48 double overtime loss to Georgia didn’t just end the 2017 football season, it also ended Baker Mayfield’s career in Norman.
Following the loss, Mayfield stayed in California and settled into a training facility at Proactive Sports Performance just north of Los Angeles.
Saturday, Mayfield returned to Norman, as he was honored in the first half of OU’s men’s basketball matchup with the Texas Longhorns.
“It’s been a crazy journey, hasn’t stopped,” said Mayfield during a media session at halftime of the OU-Texas game. “This is the first time I’ve been back to Norman, actually. Since the Senior Bowl I’ve been training hard, getting ready for the combine, setting up my schedule for interviews and whatnot, going forward after Pro Day.”
You might also say this trip home was a favor to Lincoln Riley, who is hosting a big recruiting weekend for 2019 prospects.
One of those highly coveted recruits visiting this weekend is Austin (TX) Lake Travis High School wide receiver Garrett Wilson.
“I want to see this program and this university succeed in everything. It’s exciting to see the recruits that we’re getting now. We have a Lake Travis here today. I’m proud of that one,” said Mayfield.
Mayfield said he wanted to come back now because he won’t be able to make it back for the spring game April 14 because that is his birthday.
Even though Mayfield is preparing for the NFL, his love for the University of Oklahoma and this football program drive him to help in any ways he can.
Saturday, this was his day to do that. As well as to voice his support for this program that now moves forward without him.
“People ask me how they’re going to be next year. There’s not going to be a drop off at all,” said Mayfield. “People are worried but they are focusing on the wrong things. We have the talent. We have the coaches, we have the best coach in the country. They’re bringing in the right recruits, the right guys. They are going to be very good in the next couple of years.”
While Baker was here to support the football team and catch another game featuring Trae Young, he also got to attend another sporting event with the Sooners facing off against the Longhorns.
“I wanted to catch another game watching Trae. There’s not a better one to come to than watching Texas,” he said. “I wanted to do something and be back in front of the fans and be here and show my support because I love this university.”
Mayfield said NFL people have told him they would like to see him tone down his emotions heading into the NFL Draft. But he won’t tone down his feelings about UT.
When asked about Nick Foles being from Austin and winning a Super Bowl Mayfield responded, “Another one who didn’t go to UT? OK. I’m proud of him for that one, besides the fact that he went to Westlake, I’m proud of him.”
Then Mayfield told everyone how he really felt about the Longhorns.
“You come to Oklahoma to beat Texas. I was born and raised in Austin. They didn’t recruit me. I grew up 15 miles from their campus. I can’t stand them. Anything they do, I don’t care.
“(The NFL) said I need to calm it down a little bit, but when it comes to Texas, absolutely not. No. End of story.”
While Mayfield is just beginning his NFL career, he took Saturday to say one last goodbye before that journey officially begins.