Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook came up empty on Saturday night, finishing 3rd and 4th in the Heisman voting, respectively. Lamar Jackson’s early-season hype was just too much for the duo to overcome.
Here is the final tally:
- Lamar Jackson, 2,144
- Deshaun Watson, 1,524
- Baker Mayfield, 361
- Dede Westbrook, 209
- Jabrill Peppers, 208
Mayfield leads the nation (and is on pace to break the FBS record) in passing efficiency with a rating of 197.8, and has thrown for 38 touchdowns and only eight interceptions in 2016. After suffering two early losses in non-conference play to Houston and Ohio State, Mayfield was on fire the rest of the season. He led the Sooners to their 10th Big 12 Championship with a 9-0 conference record, exposing defenses on a weekly basis.
Around the Big 12 and around the country, Mayfield is seen as controversial by some and is despised by many. People see him as cocky and arrogant, and they certainly have a case. But he’s a guy that you love to have on your side. That swagger has endeared him to a fan base that badly needed a pulse after the disappointing 2014 season, which has helped make him the most popular Sooner in recent memory.
Westbrook has had so many highlight-reel plays since the TCU game that people (including many in the media) have become more enamored with him than Mayfield at times.
In the regular season, Westbrook finished with 74 catches for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns. Most of that production came over the final nine games of the season after being slowed by a pulled muscle suffered in fall camp. His first notable performance of the season came in the shootout against TCU, the first of his eight 100-plus-yard performances. His best performance came at the Cotton Bowl a week later against Texas, where he finished the game with three touchdowns and a school-record 232 receiving yards.
Baker and Dede came up short in the Heisman voting, but that doesn’t take away from the incredible seasons each had in 2016. After all, they had some the best seasons at their respective positions in school history. Without their tremendous performances this season, OU isn’t playing in a Sugar Bowl this year. We as fans need to appreciate how great their seasons have been, because we’ve never really seen a connection this strong between and quarterback and a receiver at OU. There’s a reason they were the first quarterback/wide receiver duo to ever reach New York!
Cheers to Baker & Dede!