Schlereth: ‘Heisman award has nothing to do with best college football player’
Former NFL guard and current sportscaster Mark Schlereth joined Danny, Dave and Moore on 710 ESPN Seattle Tuesday to talk about the Heisman’s misnomer, his statements on Baker Mayfield, and why it’s so hard to evaluate college quarterback talent.
In late December, Schlereth received a slew of angry responses when he tweeted:
“The Heisman? Please that’s a garbage award. Who was the last Heisman QB to be worth a [emoji] in the NFL? Get lost OU fan boy.”
That’s when Oklahoma quarterback and the most recent winner of the Heisman, Baker Mayfield, responded.
“You got it big fella! At least tag me in all your stuff.”
“Honestly, I don’t know enough about any of these college quarterbacks,” Schlereth told Danny, Dave and Moore. “But it was really interesting because I was on television just basically saying, ‘Based on inflated completion percentage of playing in a spread offense, I just don’t trust those numbers,’ you’ve got to be careful about trusting the stats…
“I was talking to Kyle Shanahan and he was like, ‘Listen, I worked Jimmy Garoppolo out when he was at Eastern Illinois and he could spin it and he had a great arm, but what I’ve learned about scouting spread offense quarterbacks out of college is the only thing you can really evaluate with those guys is arm talent. Beyond arm talent, you really don’t know anything.’ Because they don’t call plays in the huddle, they don’t play out from under center, there are so many things that they don’t do. They don’t read defenses in many cases (and) they’re told who to throw it to. It just isn’t pro football. And all I said was be careful about just trusting completion percentages, because I don’t buy into that stuff. And you would’ve thought I attacked the kid.
“And all his fans went haywire and ballistic on me, because apparently I have no idea what I’m talking about, and then Baker Mayfield got involved, Lord only knows what he wanted to talk about, about including him in my Tweets like I owe him something. He hasn’t put a squirt of piss in the NFL bucket, so I don’t give a rip what he thinks. It’s just funny. College football fans are very passionate.”
Schlereth had earlier stated the Heisman was a trophy that was not truly awarded to the best player in college football, and defended that statement Tuesday.
“(The argument about Mayfield) was more about me hating the Heisman trophy award, because the Heisman describes itself as an award for the best college football player. That’s garbage. It’s the best college quarterback or the best college running back. It has nothing to do with the best college football player. I would venture to guess that Baker Mayfield isn’t the best college football player on Oklahoma. So, I don’t buy into all the hype. I go back to when Terrell Suggs was at Arizona State. Terrell Suggs had, I think, 36 tackles for losses, six forced fumbles, 24 sacks, and didn’t even finish in the top 10 of the Heisman trophy balloting. How you can’t be considered the best college football player (with those stats) is beyond me. If you want to make an award for the best quarterback or the best running back, make it an award for those guys. But don’t tell me it’s for the best college football player, because that’s a bunch of baloney.”