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Baker Mayfield Could Be First Senior to Win Heisman in 11 Years

July 5, 2017

College football players must be three years out of high school before they can declare for the draft. Therefore, many top players in the game declare following their junior season or their redshirt sophomore season.

It is not a surprise to anyone that follows the sport that there has not been a senior win the Heisman Trophy since 2006 when Troy Smith from Ohio State took home the coveted award. Usually the best players are already being paid to play in the NFL in what would have been their senior season.

Smith was not a top NFL prospect and the last senior to win the Heisman before Smith who was a top prospect was Carson Palmer from USC in 2002. He was drafted No. 1 the draft that year, but seeing that today would be a rare sight indeed.

However, Baker Mayfield the star signal caller for the Oklahoma Sooners could change all that. Amongst all seniors Mayfield has the shortest odds to win the Heisman Trophy at 8 to 1. He has been a finalist on two occasions for the Heisman, but came up short both times.

Last season Mayfield finished third in the voting, which was won by Lamar Jackson from Louisville, while Deshaun Watson finished second. In 2015, Mayfield finished fourth in the Heisman balloting behind winner Derrick Henry from Alabama.

Mayfield definitely has the talent but lost his top wide receiver and Heisman Trophy finalist Dede Westbrook to the NFL draft.

Mayfield has been in the headlines during the offseason but for all the wrong reasons. On February 25 he was arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, public intoxication and fleeing, which are all misdemeanors.

Not helping Mayfield’s cause is that long-time successful head coach Bob Stoops retired during the offseason. However, the new head coach Lincoln Riley was the team’s offensive coordinator which should help but Mayfield will still need to learn under a new OC that takes Riley’s place.

Mayfield should have another strong season but will likely not put up the numbers he needs to out distance the other favorites in the field.

Overall the favorite at this point is USC sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold at 5 to 2, with Mayfield second at 8 to 1 tied with Jackson and Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett. Rounding out the current top five is Jalen Hurts the Alabama signal caller at 9 to 1.

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