Lamar Jackson says he 'didn't prove anything'

University of Louisville true freshman Lamar Jackson nearly rallied the Cardinals' to victory against Auburn and will make his first career start on Saturday when U of L hosts Houston. Jackson spoke with the media about the whirlwind since Saturday.

Lamar Jackson couldn't answer the question about how many messages he received on his phone after nearly rallying the University of Louisville football team to victory in the opener on Saturday against Auburn.

The true freshman quarterback, who was inserted into the game in the second quarter, said it was so many his phone died.

"It's been very interesting," Jackson said. "People know my name and stuff like that now.

"But I really didn't prove anything because I am hard on myself. I'm really hard on myself out there."

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Jackson has been the talk of the town - and the coaches' office since Bobby Petrino announced he will start against Houston on Saturday - since delivering the exciting performance.

Jackson was 9 of 20 passing for 100 yards and rushed 16 times for 106 yards and one touchdown. The Cardinals fell behind 24-0 but eventually lost to Auburn 31-24.

"I'd give myself a 'C'," Jackson said when asked to grade his performance. "I didn't really pass how I wanted to. I was just out there trying to get my team back too fast and not taking my time.

"I ran very well, I just didn't show my passing abilities. I know I can throw it."

The standout from Boynton Beach, Fla., will have plenty of time to show off that ability. He arrived at U of L in early June and came into fall camp in a five-way battle for the starting spot. Tyler Ferguson transferred prior to the opener and Petrino said Jackson "just kept improving" each and every week of camp leading up to the opener.

U of L offensive coordinator Garrick McGee said it was obvious early in fall camp that Jackson was in the thick of the competition. Sophomore Reggie Bonnafon eventually won out and got the start, but Jackson came in and was impressive.

And now Jackson is the starter moving forward.

"I was just looking forward to competing," Jackson said. "I wasn't thinking I was going to come in and start. I was going to take a little more time in the regular season to really get my feel for the game.

"But it's been fun. People say I'm famous, but I'm just trying to help us win."

Jackson made the media want to see his arm strength in person when someone asked if freshman Jaylen Smith was accurate in saying he could throw the ball 85 yards in the air.

"Yeah," Jackson said with a smile. "I really don't know. In high school I threw it 95 (yards)."

The question was then posed again, 95?

"Yeah," he smiled again. "We just came out here during the summer, we were just throwing it, and someone said I saw a video on Instagram (of him throwing it) 95 yards. I was like, 'Yeah, I can throw it.' So I went out there and threw it."

McGee said he's not sure he's seen a QB that could actually throw it 95 yards. But maybe sometime in the near future we'll get to see Jackson on a long throw down the field, he'll certainly have the opportunities.


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