Friday, November 18, 2016

Mayfield, Westbrook Named Walter Camp Semifinalists

Oklahoma junior quarterback Baker Mayfield and senior wide receiver Dede Westbrook were named Thursday as two of 15 "Players to Watch" for the 2016 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, given annually to the outstanding player of the year who has exemplified the qualities of self-discipline, unselfish team play, desire to excel, mature judgment and respect for leadership.

Mayfield is one of eight quarterbacks listed, while Westbrook is the lone wide receiver. Oklahoma joins Alabama and Ohio State as the only schools with multiple players on the list. Only one other Big 12 player — Texas running back D'Onta Foreman — is a semifinalist.

Thursday's honor adds to a growing list of accolades for the pair. Mayfield has already been named a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy and Unitas Golden Arm Award, while Westbrook is a finalist for the Hornung Award and semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Each player is also a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award.

Mayfield, who completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 3,700 yards and 36 touchdowns against only seven interceptions last year while finishing fourth in Heisman Trophy voting, is 214-for-296 (career-high 72.0 percent) this season with 33 TDs and seven picks. He ranks first nationally in passing efficiency rating (195.2; the NCAA single-season record is 191.8) and yards per pass attempt (10.9; only two other players are above 10.0), second in completion percentage, fifth in passing TDs (33) and sixth in points responsible for per game (22.6).

Mayfield has been especially effective in Big 12 play, leading the league in passing TDs (26; Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes ranks second with 20), completion percentage (.749; Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph is next at .671) and pass efficiency rating (207.1; Rudolph ranks second at 170.9 and West Virginia's Skyler Howard is third at 142.7). He has thrown for 345.6 yards per league contest and has also run for 127 yards and four scores during the stretch.

RELATED: Mayfield, Westbrook Named Maxwell Award Semifinalist

On the season, Westbrook leads all Power Five players in receiving yards per contest (125.4), while ranking second in receiving touchdowns (14) and seventh in receptions per outing (6.8). He started returning punts Oct. 15 against Kansas State and began returning kickoffs Oct. 22 at Texas Tech. Westbrook is averaging 19.8 yards per punt return (registered a 71-yard return for a touchdown against Kansas) and 28.4 yards on his eight kickoff returns.

Westbrook, who battled a hamstring injury during OU's first three games when he averaged 51.3 receiving yards per contest and did not score a touchdown, has exploded in seven games since. During that span, Westbrook has amassed 51 catches for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 1,100 yards are the most ever by a Sooner in a seven-game stretch (next highest total is 985 by Ryan Broyles in 2011), as are the 14 receiving TDs. He needs one more receiving TD to tie the OU single-season record.

The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. A list of five finalists will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 30, and the winner will be broadcast live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, Dec. 8.

2016 WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR SEMIFINALISTS


Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama, Senior
J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State, Junior
Jake Browning, QB, Washington, Sophomore
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, Junior
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State, Junior
Quinton Flowers, QB, USF, Junior
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas, Junior
Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama, Freshman
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville, Sophomore
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma, Junior
Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State, Junior
Jabrill Peppers, DB/RB, Michigan, Junior
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State, Senior
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson, Junior
Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma, Senior
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