Not highly recruited.
That's what was known about Texas Tech walk-on freshman
quarterback Baker Mayfield heading into the Red Raiders season-opener on Friday
night against SMU.
But the stage, the game and the moment to start in his first
collegiate game didn't affect the Lake Travis, Texas native.
"No he's not, he's not easily intimidated at all,"
Co-Offensive Coordinator and Outside Receivers coach Sonny Cumbie said. "Which
is a great trait to have at quarterback."
Mayfield, the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the
Week, finished the game going 43-for-60 for 413 yards, five touchdowns, four
passing and one rushing, and no interceptions.
With that kind of performance Cumbie said you couldn't tell
it was a freshman out on the field at quarterback for the Red Raiders.
"I thought Baker (Mayfield) played really well," Cumbie
said. "We've seen all camp long with both of those guys for being freshman,
they sure don't play like it. He's got just a charisma about him out on the
field. He's kind of a gunslinger out there. He did a really good job, there
wasn't a time that you looked out there and he looked like a freshman, he
wasn't wide-eyed at all, the moment wasn't to big for him."
Not only was Mayfield's arm impressive in his collegiate
debut but also drawing attention was his ability to move in the pocket and run.
The most excited moment Mayfield created with his feet in
the game was an 11-yard run for a touchdown where he evaded defenders and
finished the run off by leaping into the endzone and throwing his guns up as an
"Really, really excited to watch him play," Cumbie said.
"He's able to create some things outside the pocket for us, which is big for us
in this offense. This makes us a little more difficult to defend, but did a
good job leading, making plays and taking care of the football."
When it comes to his passing ability Mayfield connected with
11 different receivers throughout the game.
Mayfield's favorite target at the end of the night was Eric Ward who recorded 13 catches for 150 yards to lead the team. Behind ward was
Jordan Davis recording five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
That kind of synergy with the wide receivers Cumbie said
comes partly because the way Mayfield carries himself on and off the field.
"He's a likeable kid," Cumbie said. "Anytime you have
success at quarterback your going to draw closer to those receivers. As long as
you're a guy that can get them the ball, your going to play for you no matter
who you are. He's a guy that has that charisma about him, guys like him off the
field as well as on the field because he's making plays and getting the ball to
When asked if Mayfield would get the start in the Red
Raiders upcoming game against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday at Jones AT&T
Stadium, Cumbie chuckled saying that decision is above his pay grade.
But the one thing that Cumbie would say about the young
gunslinger is that he plays because he loves the game and the team he is
representing every time he pulls his uniform and helmet on.
"He's out there just playing hard," Cumbie said. "I think
he's very passionate about football. He loves football, he loves to compete and
I think that's what he's out there doing. He's playing with a bunch of guys he
feels good about and playing as hard as he can."
Texas Tech co-offensive coordinator and outside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie weighed in on the performance of Baker Mayfield in the season-opener.
Texas Tech co-offensive coordinator and outside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie weighed in on the perfo