And the Heisman goes to …

Baker Mayfield. This name is known all throughout college football for a number of reasons. Reason number one: he is this year’s best Heisman contender with 1-20 odds in his favor to win.

The man puts up extraordinary numbers. He has 4,097 yards this season, averaging 341.4 yards per game. He has 37 touchdown passes to just five interceptions.

The next quarterback on the Heisman list is Lamar Jackson whose numbers can’t even compare. Jackson is almost a full 1,000 yards behind Mayfield and exactly 12 touchdowns behind him. Based off numbers alone, the Heisman is Mayfield’s.

Mayfield’s activity off the field, though, is what keeps people talking about whether or not he deserves a Heisman award or not. The Heisman mission statement reads “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.” The words excellence and integrity are the keywords in this.

If his actions on and off the field don’t display integrity, does he deserve the Heisman Trophy? In the game against Kansas, Mayfield was seen on the sideline taunting the opposing team by yelling obscenities and grabbing his crotch in the direction of his opponents. He was also heard on the sideline telling them to stick to basketball because they suck.

Personally, I didn’t think this was a bad enough of an action to lose him the Heisman, especially considering Kansas didn’t shake his hand at the coin toss. They also committed a late hit against him later in the game.

Mayfield is a very passionate player, and if you fire him up he is going to show it. He also planted the Oklahoma flag in the middle of an opposing team’s field, which was seen as very disrespectful

The Kansas incident was seen by all the analysts and his coach as a big deal. He was announced as a non-starter, and they stripped him of his captainship for his last game as a senior. I think they blew this situation out of proportion. Mayfield is 20- or 21-years-old with a bright NFL career ahead of him. The punishment did not meet the action. Analysts are talking about how he shouldn’t be given the Heisman because he doesn’t display integrity. But if you look at everything else, the mission statement also mentions “diligence, perseverance, and hard work.”

This is exactly Baker Mayfield. Even after his captainship was removed, he showed an outstanding performance during the next game with 281 yards and three touchdowns. Even in the face of adversity Mayfield shows diligence, perseverance and hard work. These small events should not define Mayfield. They should not affect the outcome of the Heisman Trophy, and they should definitely not affect his draft stock next year.

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Gerrand Moody is a sports columnist for The Lorian.

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