NORMAN — Baker Mayfield is up for another honor. The former Oklahoma quarterback was named Monday as one of seven finalists for the 2017 Lombardi Award, which is presented to an NCAA Division I football player, regardless of position, based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency. The award was formerly given to the best college football defensive lineman or linebacker.
Joining Mayfield as finalists are Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Iowa State linebacker/quarterback Joel Lanning and Stanford running back Bryce Love.
The presentation will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27 in Houston at Lone Star College and will be televised on ESPN3. At that time, the new Lombardi Award trophy, crafted by renowned sculptor Edd Hayes, will be unveiled.
Each of the seven finalists has been invited to the Lombardi Honors presentation that will include several other awards being recognized, including the Lombardi Coach of the Year. Last season, Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen won the Lombardi Award and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney was the Lombardi Coach of the Year.
Mayfield is already the most decorated college football player of 2017, winning the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award, Manning Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. He was also named AP, Sporting News and Walter Camp Player of the Year.
A native of Austin, Texas, Mayfield led the Sooners to a 12-2 record in 2017, a third consecutive Big 12 title, a No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff and a No. 3 final AP ranking. He set the FBS single-season record for passing efficiency with a rating of 198.9, breaking his own standard of 196.4 that he set in 2016.
Mayfield also led the FBS in 2017 in completion percentage (.705), points responsible for (296) and yards per pass attempt (11.5). He set the OU single-season record for total offense (4,938 yards), while his completion percentage and 43 touchdown passes rank second best in school single-season annals, and his 4,627 passing yards rank third.
Mayfield, who set a school record with four Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors in 2017, threw for a school-record 598 yards in a win at Oklahoma State on Nov. 4. He also set an OU record for consecutive completions to start a game, connecting on his first 16 throws in the Sept. 2 season opener against UTEP.
The Sooners have strong ties to the Lombardi Award, as Mayfield is the program's 15th finalist for the honor. OU winners were Lee Roy Selmon in 1975, Tony Casillas in 1985 and Tommie Harris in 2003.