LEADOFF: UGA fans’ prank calls earned Baker Mayfield’s ‘respect’


Good morning. This is LEADOFF, today’s early look inside Atlanta sports. 

Georgia football fans made quite an impression on Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma’s star quarterback, with their barrage of prank calls and text messages Sunday. 

“I respect them,” Mayfield said Wednesday after arriving in Atlanta for a college football awards show tonight. “People ask me if I was really that mad. No, not really. It was pretty funny. 

Photos: Baker Mayfield, Georgia’s target at Rose Bowl

“I’d hope our fans would do the same thing if they got a chance.” 

Someone posted Mayfield’s cell-phone number online, and some UGA fans seized upon it after the College Football Playoff set the Georgia-Oklahoma semifinal matchup. 

“They were creative, I’d say that,” Mayfield said. “Got probably about 100 text messages and calls in about 45 minutes. My phone just blew up.

“There were a couple that were pretty good – some people asking me if I had done my homework yet. I guess they were concerned about my academics. I appreciate that.” 

The downside, Mayfield said, was that he had to change his phone number.

“That’s the first time I’ve changed it since getting the phone in eighth grade,” he said. “So I had to memorize a new number. Pretty disappointed about that.” 

Mayfield -- the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday in New York -- is a finalist for two of the nine individual awards that will be presented during a made-for-TV event at the College Football Hall of Fame here tonight: the Maxwell Award as college football’s player of the year and the Davey O’Brien Award as the best quarterback. The “College Football Awards” show will air from 7-9 p.m. on ESPN and will be preceded by a one-hour red-carpet ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

READ ON ...

Mayfield and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith won’t have to wait until New Year’s Day to cross paths. See story here


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Ten observations from Hawks loss at Pacers
Ten observations from Hawks loss at Pacers
Save for a brief stretch of spirited play early in the fourth quarter, the Hawks had nothing. They were ragged with the ball and the Pacers took advantage with a barrage of steals and transition scores—several times they just plain beat the Hawks back down the floor. By the time the Pacers opened up 23-point lead late midway through the third...
Ex-NFL player detained over post showing gun, his high school 
Ex-NFL player detained over post showing gun, his high school 

Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who has struggled with mental health issues after a 2013 bullying scandal that shook the NFL, was taken into Los Angeles police custody Friday after a threatening Instagram post on his account mentioned his former high school and two former NFL teammates. Martin was being questioned by investigators...
Kyle Busch wins pole for Atlanta’s NASCAR race
Kyle Busch wins pole for Atlanta’s NASCAR race

Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. was the hot topic even as Kyle Busch won the pole Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton. Busch will start in front Sunday in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, the second race of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup season, after edging Ryan Newman. Busch won the pole with a lap of 184.652 mph. Wallace will start...
Henry County shows its basketball prowess with 3 boys teams in QF for first time
Henry County shows its basketball prowess with 3 boys teams in QF for first time
Boys basketball in Henry County has been on the rise this decade, and it reached new heights this week.   Dutchtown, Stockbridge and Eagle’s Landing Christian all advanced to the boys’ state quarterfinals for the first time on Thursday night.   Dutchtown, the surprise winner of the Region 4-AAAAA tournament earlier this month...
Braves’ starting pitching remains their biggest question (again)
Braves’ starting pitching remains their biggest question (again)
It might be difficult to remember, given the blinding carnage we’ve witnessed over the past three seasons of this rebuild. (”Rebuild”: a Latin word meaning, “Do you have a new roster? I haven’t updated mine in the past 12 seconds.”). But there was a time when the Braves could wrap their golden arms around their...
More Stories