Baker Mayfield Awarded 2017 Heisman Trophy: Voting Results, Comments, Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2017

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws a pass in the first half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against TCU  in Arlington, Texas. Mayfield, reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Stanford running back Bryce Love were chosen as finalists for the Heisman Trophy on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was awarded the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in New York City, beating out Stanford running back Bryce Love and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.

According to John E. Hoover of Sporting News, Mayfield finished with 2,398 points, Love came in second with 1,300 and Jackson was third with 793.

Among first-place votes, 732 went to Mayfield, 75 went to Love and Jackson garnered 47.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley finished fourth and San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny rounded out the top five.

By virtue of his win, Mayfield became the first senior to secure the Heisman Trophy in a decade, which is the longest drought in history, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Additionally, Mayfield became the first walk-on to ever win the Heisman, and Brandon Saho of WBRZ put his accomplishment into perspective:

Brandon Saho @BrandonSaho

Out of high school, Baker Mayfield only had offers from Rice, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic before walking on at Texas Tech and then walking on again at Oklahoma. He just won the Heisman Trophy. #respect

Mayfield entered the voting process as the heavy favorite after he put up the best numbers of his career and led the Sooners to both a Big 12 title and a berth in the College Football Playoff.

The senior from Austin, Texas, completed 71.0 percent of his passes while throwing for 4,340 yards, 41 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Mayfield also rushed for 310 yards and five additional scores.

His Heisman candidacy has progressed in recent years, as he finished fourth in 2015 and third last year before establishing himself as the top choice in 2017.

According to ESPN's David Hale, Mayfield became the first player since Georgia running back Herschel Walker in 1980, 1981 and 1982 to finish fourth or better in three straight years.

Though volatile and often controversial due to his fiery personality on the field, Mayfield was a consistent force for Oklahoma this season, throwing for at least two touchdowns in every game and accounting for at least three touchdowns in all but one contest.

Mayfield received congratulations from several important figures on social media after his win, including former Texas A&M quarterback and fellow Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel:

Johnny Manziel @JManziel2

Congrats @baker_mayfield6 from the Hill Country to the big stage. Welcome to the club my G much deserved #HeismanBrother

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit also offered some kind words regarding Mayfield:

Kirk Herbstreit @KirkHerbstreit

My man @baker_mayfield6 is VERY misunderstood! His competitive spirit is special and sure, sometimes has gotten the best of him. But, he is a good man that is driven to be the best. Congrats Baker!

Mayfield received some stiff competition from a statistical standpoint; however, a lack of big-time team success sank the other leading candidates.

Love had huge shoes to fill at Stanford after running back Christian McCaffrey was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers, and he managed to exceed expectations.

The junior from Wake Forest, North Carolina, led all Power Five running backs with 1,973 rushing yards (8.3 yards per carry) and added 17 touchdowns on the ground.

Unlike McCaffrey, though, Love was virtually nonexistent in the passing game with just six catches for 33 yards. Also, the Cardinal finished 9-4, although three of their losses were by only three points.

After winning the 2016 Heisman Trophy, Jackson looked to join Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only players in college football history to win the prestigious award twice.

Jackson's numbers were nearly as impressive this season, as he completed a career-high 60.4 percent of his passes for 3,489 yards, 25 touchdowns and a career-low six picks. On top of that, Jackson rushed for 1,443 yards and 17 touchdowns.

For as fantastic as the junior signal-caller was, the Cardinals went just 8-4 and suffered some questionable losses to the likes of Boston College, NC State and Wake Forest.

In winning the Heisman, Mayfield became the sixth Oklahoma player to do so, and the first since quarterback Sam Bradford in 2008.

He also became the seventh quarterback in the past eight years to leave New York with the award.


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