Field was a three-year varsity letterman for the Burnet Bulldogs from 1974-77 under coach Ray Frady before going on to play professional football.
Burnet was in Class 2A during Field’s time there, but being at a small school didn’t stop him from attracting attention from one of the largest college football programs in the country: the Texas Longhorns.
“They called them ‘sleepers,'” Field said of the lesser-known athletes recruited from small schools. “I guess I was a sleeper, although the first team to offer me a scholarship was the University of Texas when Darrell Royal was the coach.”
Before Field signed his letter of intent to play for the Longhorns, the University of Texas decided to clean house, firing Royal and all of his assistants. Field quickly changed his mind.
After looking at other schools, including Houston and Texas Tech, the Burnet Bulldog star was charmed by coach Cotton Davidson of Baylor University.
“Cotton was a former Oakland Raiders quarterback,” Field said. “He and I just really meshed.”
An outside linebacker, Field played for the Baylor Bears from 1977-80 alongside NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary. While Singletary was arguably the better athlete, the coaching staff trusted Field to communicate plays from the sideline.
“Some guys were so jacked up, they couldn’t concentrate and get the signal,” Field said. “I was pretty laid back and easygoing. I could read signals from the sidelines. I would also make and call out adjustments.”
Field played a key role in several of the most important games in Baylor school history.
In 1979, Field’s Bears went 7-4 in the Southwest Conference and played the Clemson Tigers in the Peach Bowl. In that game, Field was not only the leading tackler for Baylor but also caught a game-clinching interception with one second left to seal the victory.
“That game really set me up,” Field said. “Other teams thought we only had one linebacker, Mike Singletary. That game proved we didn’t just have one, we had three good linebackers.”
The following year, Baylor won the Southwest Conference and went 10-2. It was the first time in school history that the Bears won 10 games in a season. Unfortunately for Field, Baylor would lose 30-2 to Alabama in the 1981 Cotton Bowl.
“When I went to the NFL, I played with guys from that (Alabama) team,” Field said. “They told me we were the toughest team they had played all year.”
Field was picked in the seventh round by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1981 NFL Draft. He would later play for several teams in the United States Football League (USFL) throughout the 1980s. Injuries ended his pro football career.
Field will be inducted into the Baylor Sports Hall of Fame alongside Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and seven other former student-athletes from five different sports.