Lamar Jackson to compete for time at QB

Cardinal Authority is counting down the days until the University of Louisville football team starts the season on Sept. 5 against Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Classic at the Georgia Dome. It's 91 days and we take a look at freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson and the expectations coach Bobby Petrino has for his newest signal caller.

University of Louisville freshman Lamar Jackson has only been on campus for one week and hasn't even competed in an official organized practice with the coaches, but there's already a great deal of expectations.

Jackson told Cardinal Authority after visiting for the spring game that he "very much" expected to compete for the starting quarterback position and U of L head coach Bobby Petrino confirmed that last week.

"Lamar is a very. very talented guy," Petrino said. "We're very proud to have him as one of our newcomers at the quarterback spot. He has a very live arm, we like his delivery, his ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly and how accurate of a passer he was with also carrying being able to make plays with his legs.

"That's one of the things he's real special about is not only throwing it but being able to run. All he has to show us is how quickly he can learn and adapt and adjust to college football and what we're going to ask him to know about protections and the run game and the other things it takes to be a quarterback besides just throwing the ball or running, so it will be fun how that all plays out.

Jackson said he felt like it "wouldn't be a big deal" to make the adjustment from his offense at Boynton Beach, Fla., where he was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.

"I feel like I will be ready," Jackson said.

Petrino said he expects him to compete with Will Gardner, Reggie Bonnafon, Kyle Bolin, Tyler Ferguson and Pat Thomas for playing time at the quarterback position. Jackson will benefit from already being on campus and enrolled in school.

"The benefit that freshmen have now is that we get to spend time with them in the offseason, just like it's the offseason in the winter," Petrino said. "So he'll be able to be in the classroom with coach McGee and learning the offense, not just from the other players."

Jackson, who threw for 1,306 yards and rushed for 962 while accounting for 35 total touchdowns as a senior, was named to Florida's 6-A first-team All-State team as a utility player by the Associated Press.

Jackson signed with Louisville over Florida, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Tennessee and a host of others.


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