BEREA — Angela Dudziak was at the supermarket buying her dad, Bill Neff, a cake for his 77th birthday party at work.
Browns rookie Baker Mayfield took care of the gift while she was gone.
Mayfield rented the now famous QB RV at Neff Brothers RV in Lorain and made a bunch of fans in the process.
“It probably was the best birthday present my dad could’ve gotten,” Dudziak, the general manager of the three-generation family business, said by phone Thursday. “There’s no doubt at all.”
Mayfield, the No. 1 pick, was told by veteran backup Drew Stanton he needed to provide an RV so the quarterbacks had a place to relax during the grind of training camp. He made a surprise visit to Neff Brothers on July 24, accompanied by cameras from HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” They created quite a stir.
Dudziak’s daughter called to inform her that Neff was freaking out. Neff then called and, trying to be cool, whispered “the Browns quarterback is here.” Dudziak isn’t an NFL fan, so she called her girlfriend for the name of Cleveland’s hot quarterback.
“She’s like it’s got to be Baker Mayfield,” said Dudziak, whose friend was ready to leave work to get a look at Mayfield. “Sure enough I get here and I walk in and I come through the doors and it’s just all cameras right on me. I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh, hello.’”
Mayfield said he needed an RV, but all the big ones were rented for a race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Mayfield took a basic 32-footer for a week, then Bill Neff and brother Ralph brought him an upgrade Tuesday. It’s 3 feet longer with wider slideouts, multiple TVs and a bigger social area.
“There’s a lot more room. And it’s prettier,” Dudziak said.
The RVs have received a ton of media attention, including being shown on ESPN.
“Our phones exploded,” she said. “That was very awesome.
“We’ve been in Lorain the whole time. Then you finally say, ‘We were on national TV.’ It was kinda neat.”
Not as neat as hanging out with Mayfield, who put on his party hat once he found out it was Neff’s birthday.
“He’s giving him a hug and a handshake. He was so cool to my father,” Dudziak said. “Such a grounded guy. I was thoroughly impressed. I hope, God willing, he remains this way throughout his career, because he was just a really, really super guy.”
Mayfield posed for pictures with the whole family.
“It was like my dad’s birthday on steroids,” she said.