Baker Mayfield Football Procamp

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, left, greets former OU football player Billy Sims, right, and former Ou caoch Barry Switzer, middle, during the Baker Mayfield Football ProCamp, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the University of Oklahoma’s Intramural Fields. (Kyle Phillips / The Transcript)

NORMAN — Billy Sims asked Baker Mayfield about the snap count.

“We’re just going set, hut,” Mayfield panned.

Barry Switzer lurched forward as the lead blocker and Mayfield’s toss hit its mark. Sims secured the football then sprinted for a make-believe touchdown.

Mayfield, arguably the University of Oklahoma’s most popular quarterback ever, won the Heisman Trophy and was picked No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft. Sims accomplished both feats too, as a running back under Switzer, a three-time national championship coach for the Sooners.

The trio created a surreal scene reenacting that toss sweep during Mayfield’s youth camp Wednesday in Norman.

“Very, very special,” Mayfield said. “That surprised me, two legends around these parts and two great people for them to show up, take some time and have some fun with it.”

And it was fun. The group joked around while posing for photos and signed footballs — decades of OU history between them.

Mayfield, now a budding superstar with the Cleveland Browns, wore a black trucker hat, gold-rimmed sunglasses and a a sweat towel, soaking wet after a full morning of engaging with campers.

Switzer wore a Heisman t-shirt with Sims’ likeness on it. “He always asks me to wear it,” Switzer claimed.

The day was still reserved for kids. An announced 477 — their foreheads wrapped in camp-administered black headbands similar to those Mayfield wears — participated in the event at the OU intramural fields. It was part of a string of recent ProCamp events Mayfield has conducted in his first offseason with the Browns.

He outfitted campers in t-shirts with splashes of Cleveland Browns colors, ironic considering the color orange is what OU rivals Oklahoma State and Texas wear. Mayfield is that popular, not just in Cleveland, but still in the region he starred in during college. Kids in attendance hailed from Kansas to El Paso.

Muggy temperatures and muddy fields didn’t dampen the mood. Mayfield was engaged with the group, not cast off to the side.

“Kids this age are looking up to people who are blessed enough to be in the position I am now,” Mayfield said. “I remember looking up to guys who were doing the same things. It’s important to be out here and be around them and let them have fun, work a little bit and just enjoy it.”

Despite an 11-52 record since 2015, the Browns are favored in eight games this upcoming season, according to CG Technology oddsmakers. Mayfield is the conductor behind the turnaround, helping the team go 7-8-1 last year.

“You know, I said it before the draft last year, the team needed a mentality of, ‘You know what? We’re tired of losing, we’re tired of all that,’” he said. “We had all the right pieces. We had great players and it’s about what kind of team we’re gonna be.”

The Browns hope to have a prolific offense moving forward. Mayfield’s passing accuracy and persona made him one of OU’s most memorable characters in program history.

But he gave pause when asked about running a wishbone offense, the kind Switzer perfected during his time with the Sooners.

“They ran that offense where you don’t throw the ball,” Mayfield joked. “I’m happy the age I grow up in.”

But he was happy to run a play with the famous coach a who, even at 81 years old, ran briskly alongside Sims.

“I didn’t realize Barry could move still move like that,” Mayfield said, “but he has it.”

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