Ross: I Think The World Of Baker Mayfield

When Ross' wife passed away in 2017, Mayfield became a shoulder to lean on

Taz and the Moose
June 08, 2018 - 5:45 am

USA Today Images

In March 2017, Jim Ross’ wife, Jan, died in a road accident. She was hit by a car while riding a Vespa and suffered multiple skull fractures.

In the days and weeks and months that followed, the University of Oklahoma did all it could for Ross.

“The city, the university, the football program really embraced me,” the WWE Hall of Famer and Sooners super fan said on Taz & The Moose. “I got invited to a lot of functions and people were coming by the house, including Coach Stoops. Guys were making sure I wasn’t going nuts here alone.”

One of those guys was Baker Mayfield.

“When I first saw Baker – and you can roll your eyes if you want – but he gave me a hug, and he told me in my ear, ‘I love you, J.R., and I got your back,’” Ross said. “That became our little pregame ritual. It didn’t sound like much, I get it. But for me and where I was in my life at that point in time – that’s what he did all season.”

Indeed, while Mayfield fell short in his goal of leading Oklahoma to a national championship, his legacy in Norman remains the stuff of legend.

“Probably the greatest quarterback that’s ever been to the school,” Ross said. “We’ve had, I think, six Heisman Trophy winners. Nobody had his journey.”

Yes, walk-on to Heisman is the epitome of the road less traveled. 

Ross acknowledged that Mayfield’s competitive nature sometimes gets the best of him – like when he “grabs his package and does crazy things” – but he believes Mayfield is a “hell of a kid” with a good heart.

“Yes, I’m very biased, but I just think the world of (him),” Ross said. “I think he’s a great get for Cleveland.”