When Baker Mayfield announced that he would be transferring from the Texas Tech Red Raiders following his freshman walk-on season, it was a bit of surprise. Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury had felt that Mayfield was a valued piece of the program going forward and was set to put the young signal caller on scholarship this offseason. But Mayfield chose to leave Lubbock, citing a “miscommunication” with coaches, and reports are now surfacing that Mayfield will enroll in Norman and walk on for the Oklahoma Sooners which is a baffling decision to make.
If Mayfield left Texas Tech because he wanted to be on scholarship, this decision makes no sense. Tech was preparing to make him a scholarship athlete in 2014 and at Oklahoma he will be forced to start at the bottom once again as a walk-on quarterback. If he left Tech to go to a program where he had an opportunity to be the starter, this move makes even less sense. While the Red Raiders’ quarterback depth chart is a bit crowded with Michael Brewer and Davis Webb pushing Mayfield for the No. 1 spot, Oklahoma is packed to the gills already. Established quarterbacks like Blake Bell and Trevor Knight are already there and entrenched along with Kendal Thompson and sophomore Cody Thomas as well.
There’s also the issue of transferring within the Big 12. Despite being a walk-on, Mayfield still needs to be granted his release from Texas Tech and the Red Raiders were reportedly set to block his transfer to another school in the conference. According to reports, Mayfield is set to appeal the transfer restrictions and the one-year loss of eligibility to enroll as soon as possible at Oklahoma and be eligible to play in 2014, though Mayfield has not had any official contact with the Oklahoma coaching staff to confirm that he has a spot on the roster.
So what could possibly be the reasoning for Mayfield to be so adamant about playing for Oklahoma? He faces the same scholarship issues that he had in Lubbock in 2013, the depth chart appears to be even harder to crack, it isn’t any closer to home for the Austin, Texas, native, and there is a seemingly impenetrable wall of NCAA red-tape that he’ll have to cut through before even setting foot on campus. Where is the benefit of the move for Mayfield? Has someone that is somehow connected to the Oklahoma football program made a promise that Mayfield simply can’t refuse?
After having one of the feel-good stories of the 2013 season as a walk-on true freshman turned starter, Mayfield is looking like he’ll be making headlines this offseason in a wacky whirlwind transfer decision that is almost certainly far from being resolved.