Louisville QB Lamar Jackson becomes the programs first Heisman Trophy finalist; ceremony is Saturday night in New York

Quarterback Lamar Jackson became the first Heisman Trophy finalist in University of Louisville program history on Monday night. Jackson is one of five finalists for the award that will be given on Saturday night in New York.

University of Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson made history again on Monday night.

Jackson was named one of five Heisman finalists, becoming the first ever finalist for the Louisville program.

Jackson set an ACC record by accounting for 51 total touchdowns, 30 passing and 21 rushing. He is second in the nation in total touchdowns and second in the nation in total offense at 410.7 yards per game.

"I'm extremely humbled and honored to be a Heisman Trophy finalist," Jackson said. "This is a great honor for me, but it's an honor that goes to my teammates, too."

Jackson met with the media on Monday night and said the only time he's been to New York was for the game against Syracuse in September, which is where his Heisman campaign took off.

In that win over the Orange, Jackson had six touchdowns and 411 yards passing and 199 yards rushing. He became the first player in major college football history to rush for at least 175 and pass for at least 400 in a single game.

Now, he will return to New York to perhaps collect the biggest award in college football.

Jackson is an overwhelming favorite with Las Vegas oddsmakers to win the award and has been considered the favorite since early in the season. He finished the regular season with 51 total touchdowns and 3,390 yards passing and 1,538 yards rushing. He is the first player in FBS history to rush for 1,500 and pass for 3,300 in a single season. 

When asked about the award and where the trophy would go, Jackson said to his mother.

"It goes straight to the person it belongs to - my momma," Jackson said.

While the Heisman Trophy has been presented since 1937, no Louisville player had previously ever been a finalist. In fact, the highest finish for any player from a Kentucky school was third by Babe Parelli in 1951. Louisvillian Paul Hornung won the award in 1955 while at Notre Dame.

"I am very pleased for Lamar, our program and the University of Louisville," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement. "The effect Lamar has had on our program is unparalleled. He is a great competitor who has used his abilities and strengths to become the best player in the nation, in my opinion. A year ago, he was put into the first game of the season and since then his attitude and preparation have allowed him to continue to grow and mature into a dynamic playmaker and a confident leader.

"This season, he stands apart and I congratulate him on the work he has done."


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