Browns’ Mayfield: “I’m Not A Cookie Cutter Quarterback.”

There's a moment from Mayfield's rookie season that displays his charming brand of confidence. After leading the Browns to a 28–16 victory, Mayfield is asked by a reporter what clicked for him on that particular afternoon. Mayfield, with a subtle tilt of his head, says simply, “When I woke up this morning, I was feeling pretty dangerous.” He stands stone-faced for a moment, one corner of his lips turning ever so slightly upward, his eyes glistening with a knowing twinkle.

“Feeling dangerous” became his calling card, the slogan for his truly breakout season. The night after enjoying my Baker Mayfield steak at Hyde Park, I was able to sample a Feeling Dangerous beer downtown. Another local establishment announced a Feelin' Dangerous burger, complete with kielbasa and pierogies. In Cleveland, the energy in Baker's catchphrase seems contagious and helps explain why the Browns' losing season—they finished 7-8-1—seemed so damn winning. For the first time in a long time, Mayfield had the Cleveland Browns feeling dangerous. As Mayfield's own history shows, that shift in mind-set is powerful: You've often got to start believing you're a threat long before others can begin to see it.

Coming out of high school in Austin, Mayfield received only a handful of scholarship offers. Despite an impressive 25–2 record at Lake Travis, he couldn't shake the perception that he was too small to play at a truly big-time college program. His friends back home joke that he's still 12 years old, because he was the smallest in the group. Mayfield's own candor about his scrawny size takes me by surprise. “Looking back on it, I kind of was built like a little bitch,” he concedes of his pre-water-heater days.

With some encouragement from his dad, Mayfield turned down his scholarship offers. He instead enrolled at Texas Tech, determined to make the team as a walk-on. But he didn't just walk on, he swaggered on and somehow won the starting job. During an impressive freshman season, though, he injured his knee. With his status as the starter in jeopardy, he says he wasn't offered a scholarship for his sophomore season. So Baker made an even bigger bet. He decided to transfer to Oklahoma, the blue-chip program he grew up rooting for.

“It helped that I was emotionally attached to that school, just being a fan growing up,” he says. “I'm like, ‘This is where I dreamed of playing, but I also know that I can go play there. I believe in myself, so why not go do it?’ ”

Mind you: Oklahoma wasn't exactly in need of Baker Mayfield. The Sooners had just beaten Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl, where their sensational young quarterback, Trevor Knight, had starred. Mayfield was undeterred. After just one semester at Texas Tech, he drove with his mom to Norman to enroll for the spring classes. He wasted no time seeking out head coach Bob Stoops, providing the coach with an early introduction to that Mayfield moxie.

“When he comes up to me, he hadn't bothered to call anybody about transferring,” Stoops remembers now. “You're not just transferring anywhere. We just ended up somewhere in the top five, six, in the country the year before, beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and our redshirt freshman quarterback was the MVP of the game. He's gonna come and transfer to Oklahoma to play quarterback? So it just tells you all you need to know right there. That this guy, he came up and introduced himself, had a big smile and serious look on his face like, ‘I'm gonna do this.’ ”

Coat, $1,795, by Paul Smith / Sweater, $1,250, by Bottega Veneta / Pants, $775, by Giorgio Armani / Belt, (price upon request), by Prada / Watch, $32,100, by Omega
span contentScore="189"">>

Baker Mayfield says and does what he believes to be true: “Quarterbacks, by the textbook, are supposed to be reserved, cool, calm, and collected,” he tells me. “I do it my own way.”

Per NCAA rules, he had to sit out the upcoming season. He managed to excel at that, too. “I loved that year,” Mayfield says. He played intramural softball. “Two-time intramural champions. One of my biggest accomplishments,” he says. He also tried to play intramural football but was told, after one game, that this wouldn't be allowed. (He points out that his team won the game.)

Source :

Filed Under: GQ
Browns’ Mayfield: “I’m Not A Cookie Cutter Quarterback.”


Browns’ Mayfield: “I’m Not A Cookie Cutter Quarterback.”