On the field this season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson is dominating the competition. Jackson has accounted for 25 total touchdowns and has led the Cardinals to a 4-0 start and No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press poll.
Off the field, Jackson has become a celebrity.
Jackson was on the cover of Sports Illustrated last week, is now the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and is getting talked about and mentioned in the national media - even on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
The media blitz has been so crazy that Louisville had a conference for national and local media on Monday afternoon.
"You just have to stay humble," Jackson said. "I just keep myself focused and try to prepare each week for our games."
Added teammate Jaylen Smith: "Lamar is still Lamar. He won't let it go to his head. He's going to be the one out there working hard."
Jackson didn't ask to be the center of attention, but his play has vaulted him into the spotlight. U of L coach Bobby Petrino said the staff has tried to keep him grounded, while also making sure the tea
"Obviously, I think it’s a little more than he thought," Petrino said. "But he's done a nice job with it. We have tried to help him with that, you know, only make him available at certain times and really get it to a place where he can handle what the press wants and what we are asking him to do -- also his ability to just focus and concentrate on being a player and a student.
"He’s very mature with it and I think he is more comfortable speaking and talking. We'll just keep working with him on it."
In four games, Jackson has passed for 1,330 yards and 13 touchdowns — including five against Marshall last Saturday — and rushed for 526 yards and 12 TDs. He's accounted for 25 total touchdowns.
Jackson has seen his Twitter followers go up about 25,000 in less than a week. He said on Monday that he had just seen the Sports Illustrated cover earlier in the day when he was asked to autograph a copy.
"I don’t really dwell on stuff like that," Jackson said. "I just try to keep my head level, and not really pay attention to it or whatever."
But as good as the numbers have been and as much as the hype have been, Jackson said there's still work to be done. He joked with the media about a grade for his performances, but he's not joking when he says he's working to get better.
“I don’t really feel like I’m completing as many passes as I should a game," he said. "That’s the main downfall I see in my game right now."