Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson capped a dynamic sophomore season by winning the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night. Jackson is the first Heisman winner to play at Louisville and is the sixth quarterback to claim the award over the last seven years.
Jackson earned the award over four other finalists. Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Oklahoma signal-caller Baker Mayfield all made a trip to New York for the presentation ceremony.
Jackson threw for 3,390 yards and 30 scores and rushed for 1,538 yards and 21 touchdowns in 12 games this season. The sophomore also averaged 6.6 yards per rush and finished second nationally by averaging 410.7 total yards per game. Jackson's play was a big reason why Louisville was a playoff contender for most of the season and finished the year 9-3 and second to Clemson in the ACC Atlantic.
Improving as a passer was one of the top offseason goals for Jackson and he clearly took a step forward in 2016. Coach Bobby Petrino also deserves credit for his improvement, as Jackson raised his completion percentage from 54.7 in 2015 to 57.6 this fall. Additionally, Jackson averaged 8.9 yards per attempt – up from 7.4 in 2015.
Jackson’s trophy case in Louisville is quickly filling up. In addition to winning the Heisman this week, Jackson also won ACC Player of the Year honors and claimed the Maxwell Award.
Jackson finishes his 2016 in Orlando against LSU in the Citrus Bowl. Additionally, since he's only a true sophomore, Jackson will return to Louisville to defend his Heisman in 2017.