University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino said on Monday that he wasn't sure he needed to promote quarterback Lamar Jackson for the Heisman Trophy that will be awarded at the end of the season.
Jackson has gone from under the radar to the 1-2 Heisman favorite in Las Vegas after six weeks of the season.
"He's set the bar very high," Petrino said.
It's a new spot for Petrino and for the Louisville sports information staff. The Cardinals have had some high-profile players - Teddy Bridgewater and DeVante Parker in recent years - but have never had a major player in the Heisman race.
On Tuesday, SID Rocco Gasparro sent out an email to the local and national media promoting Jackson, noting the Cardinals didn't play last week but "his statistics are still among the best in the country."
"You know with the way he's performed," Petrino said. "With the numbers he's put up and how exciting of a football player that he is and the style that he's played - I think he's set the bar very high for everyone else.
"So you know, maybe I do need to start promoting him. I'm not really sure because I've never really been associated with this before. I kind of feel like you let their body of work speak for itself but that doesn't mean I'm right."
Jackson's body of work is speaking loud and clear at the moment.
In five games, Jackson had 28 total touchdowns - 14 rushing and 14 passing - and is averaging 462.6 yards a game. He leads the country in scoring and touchdowns, while second nationally in total offense.
Right now, Jackson looks like a lock for the Heisman. He has 28 of the 31 first-place votes in the USA Today Heisman poll, is ranked first by nine of the 10 voters in ESPN's poll and is tops by all eight in CBS Sports' poll.
But as Petrino points out there's a lot of time left in the season.
"I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help my team win," Jackson said in a recent interview. "I'm not worried about all of that (Heisman talk). I can't let myself get caught up in that stuff."
No, Jackson just needs to keep raising the bar.
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