Lamar Jackson made history on the field this season with his record-breaking performances.
And now the University of Louisville sophomore has made history off the field, becoming the school's first Heisman Trophy winner. Jackson was presented the award during the 82nd annual Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday night at the New York Marriott Marquis.
Jackson beat out the other finalists - Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook of Oklahoma, Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Michigan's Jabrill Peppers. He was U of L's first ever finalist for the award.
"You’ve got to think about all the people who helped you get there," Jackson said. "You can’t just think about what you did and stuff. You’ve got to think about everyone, and that’s what it’s all about.
"There's a whole lot of people who have helped me get here."
Jackson has said over and over this season that he hasn't been paying any attention to the Heisman hype and he's noted this week that perhaps is the reason he's been so successful. He "kept to himself" when everyone else was hyping him up.
Two longtime Scout.com Heisman voters said the choice was clear this year.
"Sometimes a player comes along and puts up stats that are utterly mind blowing," said Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com. "When that player is also on a successful team and plays the most important position in all of sports, he deserves the Heisman Trophy. This year that player was Lamar Jackson."
Said Dawgpost.com writer Dean Legge: "Jackson ran away from the field earlier this fall. No one really challenged him in terms of playmaking ability this season on a national level."
A native of Pompano Beach, Fla., Jackson led the Cardinals to a 9-3 record and re-wrote the school and ACC record books.
"I actually stayed in my room and tried not to pay attention to it," Jackson said. "I just tried to go out there and win games and get better with my teammates each and every week. If you fall off, something can happen. I just tried not to listen to it all and play football."
It paid off for Jackson, who also won the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award, the ACC Player of the Year by the coaches and media and numerous other All-American honors. He's also a finalist for the Manning Award.
"You really have to take your hat off to Lamar and how he's handled all of this," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said. "He's only been worried about his performance and how I can help my teammates. He's been all about his teammates."
Jackson broke onto the scene last season in the final two games of the year but was still hardly a national name. He was 250-1 in Las Vegas when the odds first went up for this year's Heisman Trophy future book.
But the odds slowly dropped as the chatter about Jackson's potential started.
Jackson threw for 519 yards and eight touchdowns in U of L's spring game and by the week after the Kentucky Derby his odds went from long, long shot under 100-1 for the first time.
"Lamar has a long way to go, but he has a chance to be special," Petrino said after the spring game.
While he didn't run it much in the spring game, Jackson said that was his big issue moving forward. He wanted to prove that he wasn't "just a runner and that I can throw it and have some accuracy."
Well, it didn't take long to show that off in the new season.
Jackson ran for the first touchdown of the season - on the first drive - against Charlotte but ended that game with six TDs passing and 286 yards, while also rushing for 119 yards and two more TDs.
The "Lamar leap" came against Syracuse when Jackson had 610 total yards and five TDs on the road against the Orange. When he hurdled a defense in the second quarter, Jackson had his early "Heisman moment."
Oh, and then came Florida State.
Jackson had over 350 yards and five TDs in the blowout win against the Seminoles and stole the national spotlight. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was suddenly the Heisman favorite.
"I was just trying to get better and help us win games," said Jackson, whose stranglehold on the Heisman strengthened as the weeks went on. He had one big game after another for the Cardinals.
Even in the loss to Clemson, Jackson had 457 yards and three touchdowns. He had another huge game against North Carolina State and despite a poor showing against Virginia, led the Cardinals on the game-winning drive and threw a TD to Jaylen Smith in the final seconds.
By the end of the season, despite two losses to end the year, Jackson was 1-50 and the later the odds were taken down in Las Vegas because Bovada said the odds of him winning were "astronomical."
Jackson passed for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns with nine interceptions and rushed for 1,538 yards and 21 touchdowns. Jackson was the third player in FBS history to record 30 pass touchdowns and rush for 20 more in one season. The other two players - Cam Newton and Tim Tebow - also both won the Heisman.
He set a plethora of school and ACC records, including the single-season mark for touchdown responsibility for with 51.
Jackson was the first U of L Heisman finalist and is the first U of L player to ever finish in the top 10 of the Heisman voting.
Despite all the numbers, Jackson has said all week this is the moment he's been waiting for but never thought would happen.
"I don't think it's really hit me," he said. "I'm just humbled and grateful . . . It would mean a lot to be the first person from the University of Louisville to win it. It would be such an honor."
And what's next for Jackson?
He joked that it's "probably going to mean another interview," which is an understatement. But he also noted he's ready to get back to preparing for the Citrus Bowl where the Cardinals play LSU on Dec. 31 and his then his junior season.
"All of this is great and I'm humbled," Jackson said. "But I just want to play football. We have a bowl game against a great team, I'm ready to get back with my teammates and prepare for the bowl game.
"I still have a long way to go in my mind. I have another year, I have two years left to try and get better."
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