James and Gina Mayfield — and now their two sons, Baker and older brother Matt — remained especially close with Hill and his family.
The families would often vacation together and regularly would meet in Norman where Hill would get pregame sideline passes for the Mayfields.
“We used to come up and watch Quentin Griffin and Antonio Perkins and all those guys back in the day,” Baker said. “So I was just kind of born into it.”
So when Mayfield decided to leave Tech, it didn’t take him long to settle on Oklahoma — even with five other quarterbacks on the roster.
“One thing I base my whole life on is competition,” Baker said. “I think that drives me to be the better person.
“In high school, I wasn’t supposed to start and just battled through that. Even if Blake (Bell) and Kendal (Thompson) still were here and playing quarterback, I think I’d still be where I am right now pushing myself to be better. I’m not afraid of competition.”
After Thompson transferred to Utah and Bell moved to tight end, Mayfield is the only quarterback other than starter Trevor Knight to have game experience in college.
Following his performance in the spring game — he completed all nine of his passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns, more than doubling the production of any other quarterback — combined with his experience, it seems likely Mayfield could be the backup quarterback next fall if he’s able to regain his eligibility.
Either way, though, he’s glad to be in Norman after turning down chances to play much closer to home.
“I thought about it but through the initial recruiting process after not getting looked at by those places when I was right there next to them it was kind of a revenge kind of thing,” Baker said. “I wanted to come here anyways and I’ve always been a fan so it worked out.”