Louisville Quarterback wins 2016 Heisman Award
Saturday night, Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy. Additionally, he won the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards. He beat out Heisman hopefuls Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, and both Oklahoma standouts quarterback Baker Mayfield and receiver Dede Westbrook. Jackson received 2,144 points, over 600 more than runner-up Watson.
Jackson led the Cardinals to a 9-3 record and a Citrus Bowl appearance against LSU on December 31st. He started the season exceptionally well, accounting for ten touchdowns in the matter of the first two weeks. He played well against top notch competition, such as the loss against Clemson and destroying Florida State by over 40 points. His two worst games came in back-to-back losses against Houston and Kentucky.
Jackson was one of the most exciting players to watch this year, accounting for 51 touchdowns and over 4,500 total yards. He threw for 3,390 yards with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Jackson excelled at running the ball, which plays the deciding factor in him winning the Heisman. He ran for 1,538 yards, which ranks eighth in the FBS rushing rankings. He also scored 21 rushing touchdowns, ranking him fourth this year. The combination of passing and rushing prowess gave Jackson the best chance to win the Heisman Trophy.
Since Jackson is a sophomore, he is not eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft. He returns to Louisville a Heisman winner, a first since Jameis Winston did the same in 2013. In addition to being the youngest winner at 19, Jackson is the first Louisville Cardinal to win the award. He has the chance to be a two-time winner, a first since Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. Former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed love to his successor:
— Teddy Bridgewater (@teddyb_h2o) December 11, 2016
While Louisville missed out on the College Football Playoff this season, the Cardinals pose a legitimate threat to make it in 2017 with Jackson at the helm. He also has the chance to be a top quarterback prospect for the NFL in 2018 or 2019, whenever he chooses to declare. But for now, Jackson has won the most prestigious individual award in college football at the tender age of 19.