Unless you were a true student of college football who was intrigued by the true freshman’s play last year, chances are you had no idea who Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was when this season kicked off. Now, his name will go down as one of the most electrifying players with one of the most remarkable season’s in NCAA history while being responsible for 51 total touchdowns and accumulating an eye-popping 4,928 total yards in his sophomore year.
The youngest player to ever win the Heisman, he is just the fourth sophomore to take win the prestigious award. He joins Johnny Manziel, the 2012 winner, as the only residents of the Heisman House to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.
Jackson got out the gate strong this year, making headlines after accounting for eight touchdowns in three quarters against Charlotte in the season opener. He put up 600 yards and five more TD’s against Syracuse, but it was against Florida State where the legitimacy of his Heisman campaign came into focus.
After putting up 362 yards and five total touchdowns in three quarters in a 63-20 victory over the Seminoles, the trophy became his to lose. After three weeks, he’d accounted for 18 scores and was the biggest story of the season’s early stage.
And after lighting up Clemson, a championship game participant last year with one of the toughest defenses in the country, to the tune of 457 yards and three touchdowns in a last-second 42-36 loss, any suspense about him winning college football’s most prestigious award was simply manufactured for television ratings.
The cat was running numbers like West Indian Archie this year, joining Cam Newton and Tim Tebow as the only players in FBS history with 30 passing and 20 rushing touchdowns. Jackson gave us an individual season for the ages, resembling an insane combination of Michael Vick and Randall Cunningham in the pocket as a pinpoint passer and in the open field with his electrifying running ability.
Despite the wonderful seasons by Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook and Baker Mayfield, along with Ron Dayne acting like Smokie after puffing on some dust with Hector in Friday as he stood behind Jackson during the acceptance speech, along with Mike Rozier being dressed up like Detroit Red and Shorty at the Lindy Hop, the night, and the season, belonged to Lamar Jackson.