Lamar Jackson for Heisman?
We’re only a few weeks into the College Football season, but those of us who have been paying attention are having a tough time holding back talks of the Heisman Trophy. There’s one reason for that, and his name is Lamar Jackson. The remarkably athletic Louisville quarterback has put on some incredibly dominating performances through his first two games of the season. These performances have led many to label him as the early favorite to take home the Heisman, and he’s even earned the top spot on ESPN’s recently released Heisman Watch Experts’ Poll.
While Jackson’s highlight reel has captured our attention, it is his mind-blowing statistics that have us racing to label him the Heisman frontrunner. Through his first two games, Jackson has rushed for 318 yards, thrown for 697 yards and accounted for 13 total touchdowns. His 507.5 yards per game is better than 97 other FBS teams. Are you convinced yet? Take a look at how his statistics stack up against the past five Heisman Trophy winners through their first two games of the season:
2016- Lamar Jackson: 13 TDs
2015- Derrick Henry: 6 TDs
2014- Marcus Mariota: 7 TDs
2013- Jameis Winston: 8 TDs
2012- Johnny Manziel: 7 TDs
2011- Robert Griffin III: 8 TDs
2016- Lamar Jackson: 1,015 yards
2015- Derrick Henry: 255 yards
2014- Marcus Mariota: 660 yards
2013- Jameis Winston: 603 yards
2012- Johnny Manziel 651 yards
2011- Robert Griffin III: 740 yards
Perhaps most impressive is that Jackson has only played 57 total minutes of football over his first two games. Many will say (and have said) that Jackson has yet to face a true test in Louisville’s early games against Charlotte and Syracuse. But for now, Jackson is powering one of the most exciting offenses in College Football and turning heads on betonline review and other such reviews. The Cardinals have posted a staggering 132 points in their first two games, and have shown no signs of slowing down.
If Jackson can continue at this pace, there is little doubt that he’ll give himself a chance to become the first Cardinal to claim the prestigious award. But if we have learned anything from the past, it’s that it takes more than big numbers to take home the Heisman trophy. Jackson will have to lead his team to wins in some big games. Luckily for Jackson, Louisville’s schedule features plenty of significant match-ups in the coming weeks.
Jackson will face quite possibly his biggest test of the season in Louisville’s upcoming Week 3 matchup with the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles. The Cardinals will need a stellar performance from Jackson to escape their matchup against the Noles with a win. If that happens, it will put the Cardinals in good shape to make a run at the ACC championship, and will solidify Jackson’s spot as the early season Heisman frontrunner. However, life will not get much easier for Jackson and the Cardinals as they must head to South Carolina two weeks later to take on last year’s National Championship runner-up, the Clemson Tigers. After the Cardinals wrap up ACC play with games against Duke, NC State, Virginia, Boston College and Wake Forest, they close out their regular season with two out-of-conference opponents, including a matchup with a very strong Houston Cougars squad.
Though it certainly isn’t realistic to expect Jackson to continue to put up these kind of numbers throughout the season, Jackson’s play thus far has rightfully garnered national attention. Between the competition ramping up, and the wear and tear of carrying a team through a long college football season, Jackson is sure to come back down to Earth at some point. If Jackson can avoid any major blemishes and lead his team to some big wins (maybe even an ACC championship) he has to be the favorite for the Heisman.
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