OU's Mayfield receives Campbell award
By PHIL HICKS
Jan. 10, 2018 at 10:34 p.m.
TYLER — Austin native Baker Mayfield grew up an Oklahoma fan in the heart of Longhorn country, and despite his love of crimson and cream, he still emulated the great Earl Campbell, a Texas legend, while playing football as youngster.
Mayfield, OU's Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, is now part of Campbell's family after being named the fifth annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award winner during a gala Wednesday at Willow Brook Country Club.
"I am so honored to be presented this award," said Mayfield, via Skype from California where he was training for the upcoming NFL Draft. "Even though I grew up an OU fan, I would always pretend to be Earl Campbell when playing football in my backyard, running over people."
He is the fourth quarterback to win the award presented by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler. Previous winners were Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty (2013), TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (2014), Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (2015) and Texas running back D'Onta Foreman (2016).
The Tyler Rose himself and 1977 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas, Earl Campbell, and his sons, Tyler and Christian Campbell, were on hand to present the honor.
"I'm honored to present the award to Baker Mayfield." Earl Campbell said. "All of these players had an amazing season. They all deserved their place as a finalist."
Finalists attending were Southern California running back Ronald Jones II (McKinney North High School) and Auburn sophomore quarterback Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville). J.T. Barrett IV, a senior quarterback at Ohio State from Wichita Falls (Rider HS), was represented by his father, J.T. Barrett III and two of his aunts. The fourth finalist was James Washington, Oklahoma senior wide receiver, from Stamford. Washington sent a note to the gathering.
Ron Franklin, former ESPN announcer and voice of the Houston Oilers, was the emcee for the event. A video highlighting Campbell's career from when he led John Tyler High School to the 1973 state championship to his time at Texas to the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints was shown.
A senior from Austin, Mayfield is one of the Sooners' most decorated athletes in school history — winning not only the Heisman Trophy, but also the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Award and the Davey O'Brien Award.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity.
The nominee must have been born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas high school and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year Division I Texas college.