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.