ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Lamar Jackson is coming off a record setting year but for 2017, the Louisville quarterback has his eyes set on a national championship.
Jackson is coming off a 2016 season where he won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award, a year where he threw for 3,390 yards with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Perhaps equally as impressive, he also rushed for 1,538 yards and had 21 rushing touchdowns. He undoubtedly was the most exciting player in college football a year ago.
Louisville finished 9-4 but with three disappointing losses to close out the season including a 29-9 loss to LSU in the Citrus Bowl. Jackson thinks his team can build off their strong start – they were 9-1 at one point last year – and his team can be a national championship contender, “Lord willing.”
“We started off strong. I thought we had a chance to go all the way and win it and things didn’t go as planned as the end of the season. We’re going to try and build on that,” Jackson told Metro. The Louisville quarterback spoke at the Maxwell Football Club’s press conference for their annual award gala, held at the Tropicana.
“We’re more mature, we’re an older team now. It’s our team now.”
It won’t be easy however. The ACC is often slagged on as being inferior to the SEC and the Big Ten but Jackson sees that changing.
“The ACC team (Clemson) won the national championship last year,” Jackson said. “We’re stepping up.”
As for his Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top football player, Jackson said he is honored to be a recipient. This year marks the 80th installment of the award.
He said he always gives his mother the award and this one will be no different. Where does she plan on putting it? He has no clue, he just wins them.
“I don’t know,” Jackson said. “Somewhere safe I hope.”