Who is Lamar Jackson? 5 things to know about Louisville’s Heisman-winning quarterback

Die Hards - Lamar Jackson exploded onto the scene with video-game like offensive statistics last season. After becoming the first Loui...


Die Hards - Lamar Jackson exploded onto the scene with video-game like offensive statistics last season. After becoming the first Louisville player to win a Heisman Trophy, Jackson is back at the helm of the Cardinals offense for his junior season.

Here are five things you need to know about Jackson.

3-star recruit

Though Jackson was only evaluated as a 3-star recruit by ESPN and the 247Sports composite rankings out of Boynton Beach (Fla.) High School, he chose Louisville over a long list of college suitors. Jackson, considered a raw passer but prized for his athleticism in high school, had offers from Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia, among other schools.

Rough start

As a freshman, Jackson was named Louisville’s starting quarterback for the first game of his college career: The Cardinals’ 2015 opener vs. Auburn. On the first snap of the game, Jackson threw his first collegiate pass.

It was intercepted.

Reggie Bonnafon, now a running back on this season’s Louisville team, replaced Jackson for the following several drives as a result of Jackson’s mistake.

Louisville used a rotation of three quarterbacks during the 2015 season: Jackson, Bonnafon and sophomore Kyle Bolin. Jackson missed the majority of two games because of an injury, but he eventually reclaimed the starting job and led Louisville to a 27-21 win over Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl. Jackson put on a show in the bowl game, throwing for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns while also running for 226 yards and 2 scores.

Record-setting year

Last season, Jackson not only became the first Cardinal to win the Heisman Trophy, he set an eye-popping list of ACC and college football records.

In 2016, Jackson became the only player in FBS history to throw for 3,300 yards and rush for 1,500 in a single season. Facing Syracuse in Week 2, Jackson also became the first FBS player to pass for 400 yards and rush for 175 in the same game.

Jackson’s list of ACC records include most touchdowns responsible for in a season (51), most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (21), most rushing yards by a quarterback (1,538), most total yards per game (410.7), most total yards in a single game (610 vs. Syracuse) and most games with 400 total yards (8).

Jackson also tied the ACC records for most touchdowns in a single game (8) and most passing touchdowns in a game (6). He became the only player in ACC history with 15 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns in the same season.

Get the man some protection

Jackson posted those absurd numbers in 2016 despite being sacked 46 times in 13 games. Louisville’s 47 sacks allowed on the season ranked 126th out of 128 FBS teams.

Fortunately for Jackson, he wasn’t sacked a single time in Louisville’s season-opening 35-28 win over Purdue this year.

Heisman favorite once again

This year, Jackson looks to become just the second player ever to win the Heisman in consecutive seasons. Only Archie Griffin has done so, in 1974 and 1975.

Entering the season, Las Vegas oddsmaker Bovada didn’t like Jackson’s chances of joining Griffin’s company. Jackson was listed as the fourth favorite to win the award with 15-2 odds.

Just one week into the season, however, Jackson is back to being the frontrunner for the nation’s most prestigious player of the year award. Bovada now lists Jackson as a 4-1 Heisman favorite after he accumulated 378 yards passing, 2 passing touchdowns and 107 yards rushing in the Cardinals’ Week 1 win over Purdue.

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