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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Sooner teammates rare pair of Heisman Trophy finalists

By Ralph D. Russo Associated Press

NEW YORK – Together, Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook were nearly unstoppable for Oklahoma.

Mayfield is one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football and something of a magician in the pocket, escaping trouble to make something out of nothing. Westbrook is a big play waiting to happen, a receiver who can turn just about any play into a long touchdown.

A case could be made that neither would have been a Heisman Trophy finalist without the other, and Westbrook, for one , is happy to have a friend around during a hectic week on the awards circuit.

“I would be so much more nervous than I am if he wasn’t here. It’s just good to always look over and see him smiling and me just smiling back at him,” Westbrook said.

The two Sooners, along with Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson , met with reporters at a hotel in midtown Manhattan on Friday, not long after arriving in New York City. They were all in Atlanta on Thursday night at the College Football Hall of Fame for an awards show.

Jackson took home the Maxwell Player of the Year and Westbrook won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.

The other finalist, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson , won the Davey O’Brien, beating out Jackson for the award that goes to the most outstanding quarterback. Watson was not scheduled to get to New York until Saturday. He had to stop in Baltimore to pick up the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, which goes to the best upperclassman quarterback.

The biggest prize gets handed out Saturday, and Jackson is the favorite.

Westbrook and Mayfield are the first teammates to be finalists since 2005, when Southern California’s Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart finished one and three in the voting, respectively. The last time teammates finished in the top five of the Heisman voting was 2008, when another Big 12 pass-catch combo did it. Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree finished a distant fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow.

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