Lamar Jackson: College Football’s Finest

Lamar Jackson received the perfect cherry on top to his magical and electrifying sophomore season. After putting up video game numbers Jackson propelled himself to stardom and quickly became the most popular player in college football. His fantastic ability to throw and run with the football lead Louisville to a 9-3 record. Many believed Jackson’s team would earn a spot in the College Football Playoffs, but after a crucial loss to Houston that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless, Jackson was brilliant all year and put together one of the most dominant seasons in recent memory, therefore making him the clear-cut choice for college football’s top honor.

When I said Jackson put up video-game numbers, I’m not kidding. Jackson threw for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns while managing a stellar passer rating of 153.3. While his passing numbers are phenomenal, Jackson was even more impressive on his feet. Jackson ran for 1,538 yards and a mind-boggling 21 touchdowns. Yeah, you read that correctly, 21 touchdowns. Seeing these stats makes it easy to see why Jackson won the Heisman, as he has definitely deserved it.

Compared to Jackson’s freshmen year, you could definitely say he had a breakout campaign. He passed for 1,550 more yards and 18 more touchdowns, while rushing for 578 more yards and 10 more touchdowns. He was basically unstoppable, consistently exposing opposing defenses and lighting up the eyes of fans across the country week after week.

I am in no way taking anything away from the other Heisman candidates whatsoever. Deshaun Watson has had a brilliant career at Clemson and this year was no different. He further proved my argument that he will be an NFL star and a top selection when the draft rolls around this April. I’ve followed Jabrill Peppers for a while now going back to his days at Paramus Catholic. He has been a versatile superstar for Jim Harbaugh’s group, creating nightmares in all three phases of the game. The dynamic duo of Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook has been lights-out all season for Oklahoma. But what Jackson has done has been more than enough to separate himself from his fellow candidates.

Now, Jackson will be back at Louisville next season as he isn’t eligible for the draft until 2018. That is nothing but good news since he will be able to further strengthen his game and prepare properly for life in the pros. But despite him staying at college for at least another year, it is uncertain as to how Jackson will fare in the pros. There is no denying his spectacular college success and freakish talent, but his game is the kind that hasn’t translated well to the NFL in the past. Guys like Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel come to mind as guys who has all the talent in the world but just couldn’t get the same results in the NFL. Jackson is obviously a great dual-threat quarterback, but he is much more of a runner than a passer. If Jackson wants to thrive in the NFL he will definitely have to further develop his passing skills to make him a more complete quarterback. Another thing that stands out about Jackson is his frame. He is very skinny and that could be a recipe for disaster if he isn’t able to gain some muscle in the future. The violent NFL atmosphere will give Jackson loads of problems, especially with some of the hits he’s gonna have to absorb at his position constantly. This article isn’t supposed to be Jackson’s draft analysis, however, so I’ll stop there.

The main point I’ve been trying to make about Jackson in this article is that he is a special talent, and has had one hell of a career at Louisville so far. Who knows what he will be capable of doing next season and beyond. No matter how much anybody studies him and his game, none of us know until we see him step onto an NFL field for the first time. I could be completely wrong, but that isn’t important right now. Now it’s about recognizing the unbelievable things he has already accomplished this season, and what he’s been able to do is something that hasn’t been seen in a long time.

The sky is the limit for Lamar Jackson. And if you’re reading this, you absolutely lit up the gridiron every time you stepped onto one. You really are a special talent and it is going to be very exciting to see how you follow up your historic season. So congratulations on winning the Heisman. Much deserved. Ladies and gentlemen, the new golden boy of college football has arrived.

There is Nobody Better than Le’Veon Bell

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

I hope everybody has had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. After watching the Steelers-Ravens nail-biter Sunday, there was one thing that pointed itself out time and time again. That is that Le’Veon Bell is the best running back in the NFL. He may be the most electrifying running back in the past decade not named Adrian Peterson. He’s that good.

The Steelers possess the most dangerous offensive triple threat in the NFL. With Bell, a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, and arguably the best receiver in the league in Antonio Brown, this unit is feared by everyone. But yesterday Bell proved to be the most important piece out of the three. He ultimately makes or breaks the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he will serve as a crucial piece to their postseason success.

Bell has a well-rounded game, we all know that. He can run, catch, and block as well as anyone. But the main thing that pops out at you right away when watching Bell is the patience he has with the ball in his hands. It’s what makes Bell so lethal and unique. He has this unreal ability to process what the defense is giving him and wait for holes to open up in a matter of seconds. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s the main reason why nobody can make something out of nothing as often and effortlessly as Bell, and it’s beautiful to watch.

Another thing that’s impressive about Bell is his ability to overcome injuries. Bell has had a lengthy injury history throughout his career, but has come back from each one of them with determination and confidence. As a result, Bell’s injuries haven’t negatively affected his play one bit, and he’s had some serious ones too. Bell’s past two injuries were both to his right knee, with the most recent one being the most severe. In 2014 Bell hyper-extended his knee, causing him to miss the playoffs. The Steelers realtncould have used him, as they got eliminated in the Wild Card round. Then in week 9 of 2015 Bell suffered a torn MCL, which requires serious surgery, placing him on injured reserve. Bell has come back this season better than ever, proving that the past injuries he’s suffered have given his ability on the field no problems at all.

It’s this season where Bell has emerged as the best at his position. He’s proven that there is nobody better in the game right now. Not the legendary Adrian Peterson. Not rookie phenom Ezekiel Elliott. Not sophomore superstar David Johnson. Nobody. Bell has all the tools that a team looks for in a running back and continued to prove that this past Christmas Day. He has had arguably the best season of his young career considering the numbers he’s produced despite missing the first 3 games of the season due to suspension. He’s put up 1,268 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns, with 616 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.

Bell has been the main reason why the  Steelers have a 10-5 record and are AFC North champions. Big Ben has had a subpar year compared to his other seasons, and when he’s not producing  Antonio Brown doesn’t either. Bell is the heart and soul of the Steelers offense and their team as a whole. He further proved that this past Sunday, as he was animal. He put up 137 all-purpose yards and scored two crucial touchdowns in a game that came down to the final possession. He’s performed so well that I think you can even go the distance and say that he is a legitimate MVP candidate.

When talking about the complete package Bell is just that. He does everything asked of him and more, and the Steelers wouldn’t be anywhere close to where they are now without him.

Expect the Steelers to make a nice run in the postseason at the very least, and expect Le’Veon Bell to be leading the charge. He will continue to light up defenses and dance all over the football field. And nobody does it better.

KP: Revolutionizing the Game

NBA: Orlando Magic at New York Knicks

Looks like unicorns do exist after all.

Kristaps Porzingis, otherwise known as a “Unicorn” for his amazing abilities despite his 7’3″ frame, is taking the NBA by storm. He is something the game has never seen before, and he’s been a beautiful player to watch. Since having an unpleasant welcome into the league, Porzingis has silenced all of the haters and doubters completely, while shortly become one of the bright young faces in the NBA.

During the 2015 NBA Draft, I was pretty excited mainly due to the fact that the Knicks actually had a draft pick that year. As a die-hard Knicks fan, the fact that we had a top four pick added extra excitement and hope that somebody like D’Angelo Russell or Jahlil Okafor would slide down. When Adam Silver announced the name “Kristaps Porzingis,” it was definitely surprising at first to say the least. Even though Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell, and Okafor were all gone, it was confusing as to why they took such a raw prospect who never played in the United States before, especially with guys like Emmanuel Mudiay and Devin Booker still available. To be honest with you I didn’t know much about Porzingis. But what I saw in the immediate aftermath of his selection was just cruel. I felt genuinely sorry for Porzingis. Seeing this young man, who’s dream that he’s been working for his whole life finally came true, getting booed by millions of people across the country was terrible. From that random 6-year-old crying about it to Stephen A. Smith going on a rant about it to all the millions of miserable Knicks fans who downgraded the pick, you should be ashamed. I mean come on. Give the guy a chance to prove himself.

I get that it was New York, the toughest fan base in sports, but that doesn’t make it okay to completely bash a player before they even get the chance to prove themselves. Unfortunately sports today have become filled with this kind of thing. Anyway, after seeing all this chaos I made a promise to never judge a pick before I see them play. After doing more research on Porzingis, it was puzzling to see why so many people were down on him. He was 7’3″ and still growing, could shoot threes like a shooting guard and run the floor like a point guard. If he were coming from a program like Kentucky or Duke he would be the number one pick. No question about it. Yes he was raw, but he had by far the most potential out of anyone in the draft. Desperately wanting Porzingis to prove everyone wrong, I’m happy to say that he has definitely done that and then some.

Porzingis’ rookie season was nothing short of spectacular. Not just because of his play on the court, which was fantastic by the way, but also because of how he was able to completely turn around millions of people’s opinions of him in a matter of weeks. He was electric on both sides of the floor, blocking shots and displaying some entertaining put-back dunks. He also put up some historic numbers, most notably becoming the only NBA rookie ever to score more than 1,000 points, grab 500-plus rebounds, make 75-plus three pointers, and block more than 100 shots. And oh yeah he’s only 21. That’s crazy.

So far in his second season, Porzingis has picked up right where he left off. He looks stronger, more comfortable, and more improved. But the scariest part is that he hasn’t even touched his prime yet. He will continue to improve and get better each season, and that is going to be an absolute nightmare for the other 31 NBA teams.

Porzingis is the face of a new breed of basketball. He is the definition of a unique, physical athlete. If somebody were to put together the perfect player in terms of attributes and abilities, Porzingis would be pretty darn close to it at the very least. He’s like a glitch in NBA 2k. There is nobody else in the league who you could compare to Porzingis. Not Lebron, not KAT, not the Greek Freak. Nobody. Not even Dirk because Porzingis is both taller and has more ability than him. Dirk has even said that Porzingis is much better than he was at 20 years old.

If it isn’t his physical skill that seals the deal for you, his attitude should do the trick. Not only is Porzingis unphased on the court, not letting anybody or anything steer him off track, he is extremely humble as well. He isn’t the kind of cocky, annoying player who lets his talent make him feel superior to everyone else. In fact he’s the complete opposite. There is honestly no reason as to why someone could dislike Kristaps Porzingis, no matter what team you root for.

The point I’ve been trying to make all along is that Porzingis is revolutionary. His rare blend of size and skill is unmatched compared to anybody else in the NBA. On his way to an All-Star birth in only his second season, Porzingis’ future may be the brightest of anyone in basketball. He’s that special. This should be the first of many All-Star seasons for Porzingis and the beginning of a legendary career barring any major setbacks.

Hopefully this will be the ultimate lesson for everyone to never judge a book by its cover. Porzingis is making you all look like fools, and it’s pretty great to watch.