TULSA — Akylen Mayfield gives Tulsa Edison coach D.J. Howell options.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior can play almost any skill position. During his junior season, he lined up at quarterback, wide receiver, running back and cornerback, and Howell plans on playing Mayfield at more positions during his senior year.
Add to that the fact Tulsa Edison has young, developing players, and Howell can draw up just about any play for Mayfield.
“Because of these other guys, it allows us to have flexibility to move Akylen in places to get him the football because we don’t have to have him at quarterback or tailback or receiver,” said Tulsa Edison’s second-year head coach.
Sometimes Howell tells his quarterback — when it’s not Mayfield — to get the ball to Mayfield no matter what look opposing defenses give, but Mayfield knows he creates openings for his teammates to shine.
“When (opposing teams) double-team me, there’s a chance for my teammates to be open,” Mayfield said. “With everybody keying on me, we can give (the ball to me) or give it away to somebody else because they’ll be open most of the time.”
But providing options to open up the field for his teammates is not how Mayfield landed the No. 17 spot on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruiting rankings. Mayfield wants the ball, and he is dangerous when he gets it.
“I just think that when the ball’s in my hands I can be a deadly weapon for us,” Mayfield said. “I just like having the ball.”
Mayfield totaled 2,257 yards and 19 touchdowns through the air and on the ground — 1,158 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing and 1,099 yards and 9 touchdowns passing — in 2013. Whether lined up at quarterback or as the tailback, he averaged 7.9 yards per carry last season.