The Heisman Home Stretch

Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball during the college football game between the Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats on November 26 in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Adam Creech.

Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball during the college football game between the Louisville Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats on November 26 in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Adam Creech.

Lamar Jackson is one of five finalists invited to New York City this weekend for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. The Cards quarterback is considered the favorite to win the award on Saturday night. His stats are off the charts: 3,390 yards passing with 30 touchdowns and 1,538 yards rushing with 21 touchdowns. His 51 total touchdowns are an ACC record. Jackson has already been named ACC Player of the Year. He’ll be joined in New York by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook. The ceremony is at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

If you win, where will you keep the trophy?

It goes straight to the person it belongs to: my mother. I don’t have any control of it after that point.

Why?

Because I feel everything I accomplish in life, it belongs to her because she worked so hard with me and helping me build and become the man and player I am today. There’s no telling where I would have been without her, so I think everything belongs to her.

The hurdle against Syracuse or the spinning touchdown run against Florida State – which do you see as your Heisman moment?

That’s what some people think, but mine is the pass to Jamari Staples in the N.C. State game because growing up I used to always see great quarterbacks have that little one little tight pass where people don’t know how the receiver caught that ball or how the ball got in that tight space. I always say the cornerback was on Jamari’s back on the post route, safety was coming down to probably intercept the ball or make a big hit, but Jamari just ended up catching the ball. I just feel that was my best all out pass ever.

What was your reaction the first time you saw the video of the hurdle against Syracuse?

I did that in high school.

All the time?

I wouldn’t say that, but I did it in high school and I just felt like I was just making a play to get into the end zone, that’s all.

How many times have you done that in a game?

That was my second time ever doing it. I don’t just go into a game looking to jump over people, but it just happened and ended up being a great play.

Is there something you want to see in New York when you get there?

I don’t think seeing necessarily, I would say eating. The pizza is great, so I want to eat one of those New York pizzas.

Is there a former Heisman winner that you are most looking forward to meeting?

I’d like to meet them all. Everyone won the Heisman, so I’d like to meet them all to see how their experience was and how they felt about the situation.

If you had to vote for someone other than yourself who would you vote for?

I don’t know – so many great players. That’s hard. Everyone is great to me right now.

When did you first think about winning the Heisman?

I don’t really want to say I was thinking about winning it. I was thinking about just being in that spot to have the feeling to have it in your hand, and that would be like when NCAA came out, winning the Heisman and stuff like that, being on stage. I think that was in middle school. VT