Baker Mayfield’s path to the NFL saw many bumps along the way, but he reached the destination. Mayfield holds his future with the Cleveland Browns in his hands. Before arriving at this part of his football journey, he nearly lost his mother and aunt in a tragic car accident.
Baker Mayfield’s remarkable football journey
Baker Mayfield’s path to the NFL has featured many different obstacles along the way.
Mayfield didn’t receive any significant recruit coming out of high school that led to him walking on at Texas Tech. He became the starter in his freshman year but left to play his final three years as a walk-on at Oklahoma.
Mayfield earned the starting job in his sophomore year, where he developed into one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. He finished his collegiate career by earning the Heisman Trophy award that helped him become the first overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft.
He has experienced his bumps along the way in his first three seasons with the Browns. However, Mayfield has helped guide Cleveland in the 2020 season to possilby their first playoff berth in two decades. In the years before reaching NFL stardom, Mayfield almost went through a devastating situation.
Baker Mayfield nearly lost his mom and aunt to a fatal car accident
Before Baker Mayfield even reached stardom at Oklahoma as a walk-on at the university, he dealt with a near personal tragedy.
According to The Oklahoman, in April 2015, as Mayfield prepared for final exams and the upcoming quarterback competition, his mother, Gina Mayfield, was getting ready for a weekend getaway in South Carolina with her sister, Kristi Brooks, and a friend. The vacation featured a 250-mile drive to the shores of the Atlantic ocean.
The group never arrived to their destination as a car accident left three dead while Gina and her sister suffered severe injuries. A Lincoln Town car crossed the median, including a barrier cable, and hit the Toyota RAV4 driven by family friend Adrienne Davis. Gina and her sister were both in the back seats.
The collision forced the RAV4 off the right side of the highway and flipped the vehicle. The incident killed the inhabitants of the Lincoln Town car, Jack and Alma Jo Cordell. Doctors initially believed Davis’ injuries were less significant than Mayfield and Brooks, but she developed a fatal blood clot.
Mayfield suffered severe intestinal trauma and damage to the abdominal muscles and her collarbone. Her decision to wear her seatbelt saved her life. Gina required a weeklong hospital stay that didn’t allow her to travel for a month after the accident, which she decided to remain with her sister.
Mayfield and Brooks recovered from their injuries of what could have been a far worse situation.
Greater life perspective gained
The entire situation could have taken a far worse turn than it did, with three individuals tragically losing their lives that night.
The Mayfields have since garnered a greater life appreciation for life as Gina echoed that sentiment.
“You don’t know what everybody else is going through — the grumpy person behind the counter or whatever,” Gina Mayfield said. “Everybody has their challenges, and some of them are more visible than others. Having that empathy for people, which is something that I’ve tried to teach the boys, I’m hoping that they see that.”
These are values that Gian hopes that her family doesn’t forget how precious life can be.