NORMAN — Quarterback Baker Mayfield picked up his first major national postseason honor of 2017 on Thursday when he was named AP Player of the Year.
Mayfield became the fourth Sooner to win the award, which was first issued in 1998. Others to do it were quarterbacks Josh Heupel in 2000, Jason White in 2003 and Sam Bradford in 2008. OU players have claimed 20 percent of the awards, and no other school has produced more than two honorees. "This is special to me," said Mayfield, who is in Atlanta with teammates Mark Andrews and Orlando Brown for the Home Depot College Football Awards that will air Thursday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.
"I'm on this awards trip right now with a lot of great players from OU and other schools, and every one of them deserves to be recognized. To receive this award is an honor and it's something just a few years ago I never thought would happen. Obviously I'm very happy and thankful that I'm being recognized with this."
Mayfield, who is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award and Manning Award, leads the nation in completion percentage (.710), passing efficiency rating (203.8; would break his own FBS record of 196.4 set last year), yards per pass attempt (11.8), yards per completion (16.6) and pass of plays of 20-plus yards (75). He also ranks second in passing touchdowns (41), third in total offense (357.7 ypg) and fourth in passing yards (333.8 per game).
The Austin, Texas, native has completed 262-of-369 passes this year for a career-high 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns to just five interceptions.
He has also rushed for 310 yards and another five scores with no fumbles lost. "The guys I've been playing with and the coaches I've had, especially Coach (Lincoln) Riley, we've had success but this year's been a special one," added Mayfield. " I think that's because of how close we are and how we all play for each other. I wouldn't be here without those guys and I'm happy I get to enjoy this trip with two of my teammates, even though I think all of them deserve to be here with us. I'm thankful and blessed to be on the same team with those guys."
Mayfield has thrown a TD pass in a Big 12-record 39 consecutive games (every contest of his OU career), which is the third-longest streak in FBS history. He's also thrown at least two TD passes in a Big 12-record 26 straight contests (81 TDs to 13 interceptions during the stretch), which is tied with Boise State's Kellen Moore for what is believed to be the longest streak in FBS history.
Mayfield's career passing efficiency mark of 176.0 would break the FBS record held by Bradford (175.6). No. 2-ranked OU, which behind Mayfield leads the nation in yards per game (583.3) and yards per play (8.4; next highest is 7.6), will make its 51st bowl appearance when it takes on No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Jan. 1 at 4:10 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN.
OU's AP Players of the Year (Award presented annually since 1998)
2003: Jason White
2008: Sam Bradford
2017: Baker Mayfield