When Lincoln Riley arrived at Oklahoma as the offensive coordinator in 2015, few could have predicted the role he’d have on the program and its key players.
Fast forward to December 2017 and Riley is nearing the end of his debut campaign as the Sooners head coach, in which he guided Oklahoma to a 12-1 record, a Big 12 Championship and a College Football Playoff appearance after unexpectedly taking the reins from Bob Stoops in June.
Much of that success has been credited to Baker Mayfield, and understandably so. Along with earning the Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Associated Press Player of the Year recognition, Mayfield took home the Heisman on Saturday night. The Sooners star is well aware that he didn’t reach that point by himself, and during a Sunday morning segment on SportsCenter, Mayfield detailed just how much Riley means to him and his success.
“I couldn’t put it into words how much he’s impacted my life,” Mayfield said. “On the field I wouldn’t have this success without him, there’s no doubt about that. He’s the complete game-changer for me.
“Off the field, he’s such a mentor. He’s a great guy,” Mayfield added. “You sit down and have a conversation with him and he’s going to impact you’re life, as well. It’s just how he handles things, who he is off the field with his family, how he tries to take responsibility and take care of our guys, put his arm around them, develop young men. He’s an unbelievable person and I’m happy I get to play for him.”
Since Riley’s arrival, Mayfield has passed for 12,005 yards and 117 touchdowns as part of of three tremendously successful seasons in which Oklahoma has won 34 games and counting.
Prior to such success, though, Mayfield was walking on at Texas Tech, where he passed for a mere 2,315 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013, but something changed when Mayfield arrived at Oklahoma.
As the 2017 Heisman Memorial Trophy winner noted, Riley was that change.
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