Lamar Jackson Wins Heisman Trophy, However NFL Teams have Concerns
College Football’s most prestigious club initiated a new member Saturday as Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson hoisted the Heisman Trophy after 51 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 total yards this season.
Jackson ended up with 2,144 points in the voting, finishing soundly above Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (1,524 points), Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (361 points), Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook (209 points), and Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers (208 points).
“To the Heisman voters, I’m truly honored and humbled to be the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner,” said Jackson in an emotional acceptance speech. “To be able to stand up here with all these other Heisman Trophy winners, I’m extremely proud to represent this class and the University of Louisville with their first Heisman Trophy.”
Jackson fought back tears as he accepted the award with former Heisman winners behind him.
“I almost cried,” said Jackson. “I never get emotional, but to have my name called and see all those great players.”
Jackson then got the chance to party with the one-and-only Johnny Manziel as the two hung out in a hotel room with the trophy after the ceremony. Quite the memorable night for Jackson.
But while college has been a breeze for the sophomore quarterback, the NFL is a much tougher egg to crack. And, as his friend Johnny Football knows all too well, many Heisman winners never really make it at the next level despite an amazing collegiate career. Additionally, because of his small size, some NFL scouts are already shaky on his pro prospects.
Jackson, 6’3, 205 pounds, draws comparisons to another relatively tiny Louisville quarterback, Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater. At 6’2, 215 pounds, Bridgewater is close to Jackson’s size, and we all know what happened to him this offseason with a noncontact injury.
Although Bridgewater’s incident was a freak accident, Jackson’s size could easily turn off potential suitors in the NFL.
“I love the player,” said one league source. “There’s not a player I’d rather watch in college football. But he’s so skinny. I love the player. He’ll play in the NFL. I just don’t know what he’ll be. He could be a slash, he could be a quarterback, but I’m not sure on that body type.”
Some quarterbacks such as Terrelle Pryor have had tremendous success switching positions. I’m sure Jackson will find his place.