List pushes Sooner’s quarterback

Ryan Aber The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Monday morning, Baker Mayfield walked into Oklahoma’s shiny new locker room to get ready for football practice.

As he started to put on his gear, the Sooners’ senior quarterback looked at a list written in black dry-erase marker on the wall next to his locker.

“Stay consistent,” was the one he focused on as he got ready for another morning workout.

“I added that one on,” Mayfield said. “I had everything else written on there from the first day we went in there. ‘Stay consistent’ was the one thing I’ve added since camp has been going on. As an offense, that’s what we all need to do — doing my job, doing the little things right, staying consistent and the good things will come.”

Mayfield wrote the list to try to maintain his focus.

“It’s a daily reminder to come in there and realize — it’s realizing that you are in there for a reason,” Mayfield said. “I’m pretty spoiled, obviously. You guys saw the facilities. We’ve got it pretty good in there. I just keep the motivation up there and why I’m there and what’s gotten me there.

“Just keep working hard, put my head down and not look up.”

Mayfield likes lists.

On his phone, he told Sports Illustrated in 2015, Mayfield keeps a list of the ways he feels he’s been slighted — and the people behind them.

Mayfield can tick off plenty from that list of slights even as he’s become a little more careful about speaking about them in public in recent years.

But the one currently written next to his locker is what’s driving him.

He won’t go over all of the list every day but will instead focus on one or two items each day.

“Be fearless. Be relentless,” read the first two lines.

Mayfield has tried to turn inward for his motivation, demanding more out of himself instead of counting on — or even creating — outside forces to drive him.

“It shouldn’t take anyone else or something to happen for you to be motivated and work hard,” Mayfield said. “You have to do it yourself. No matter what it takes. My way of helping myself get motivated is to write that list. To read it, look at it every once in awhile and keep pushing myself.”

Most of the items on the list are intangible.

“Be a great leader.”

“Make your family proud.”

“Leave your legacy.”

While they all relate to football in some way, two are obviously football related.

“Be the best player in the country,” reads the ninth item on the list.

Mayfield finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2015 and third last season.

This season, he wants to be the one bringing home the trophy from a visit to New York City.

Just ahead of that one is, “Get your team to Atlanta and finish.”

Atlanta is the site of this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

This list isn’t even something new, even if media members got a look at it during Sunday’s tour of Oklahoma’s new locker room and training facilities.

Last year, in the crowded, much less modern temporary trailers, Mayfield had a handwritten list on a piece of paper hanging in the small personal storage space of his locker, along with another laminated paper that several team leaders had.

“I was able to put that up (this year) so it was easy for me to see and everybody else to see that I’m holding myself to a high standard and reminding myself of the motivation every day.”