Louisville, Ky.—The University of Louisville surprised Lamar Jackson with a video announcement that Jackson’s No. 8 jersey will be retired at a halftime ceremony during the game against Syracuse on Nov.13.
In 2016, Jackson became the youngest ever to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding collegiate football player; it was a first for a U of L athlete. That year, Jackson broke the Atlantic Coast Conference, ACC, records for rushing by a quarterback with 1,571 yards, and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 21. Jackson also passed for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns. His career statistics for three years include passing for 9,043 yards and 69 touchdowns, and rushing for 4,132 yards with 50 touchdowns.
The video announcement was posted on Louisville Athletics’ Twitter account. It began with a statement from Athletic Director Vince Tyra to Jackson of the jersey retirement, which left Jackson with a look of elation. Jackson will follow Johnny Unitas, another legendary Baltimore NFL quarterback, who had his jersey retired in 2003 at Louisville.
Tyra said, “We get the opportunity to make a little history with you again today. We decided to retire your number eight jersey at the University of Louisville, so we’re excited about that. We just want to tell you how proud we are and we thank you on behalf of the University of Louisville, and the community of Louisville. We love you Lamar.”
Tyra later added, “Lamar earned the Heisman and then the NFL MVP, and he’s not even 25 years old. “Even more remarkable, he’s only getting better.”
“His humble heart and grounded approach endear him to his teammates, his coaches, and any staff he’s ever been around. He knows it takes 11 to be successful on offense, not one. We’re so proud to retire his No. 8 for what he has accomplished so far but are equally excited about what’s to come. This city has big L’s up for our guy.”
Several other representatives were also on the video chat to congratulate Jackson. Coach Scott Satterfield added congratulations from the Football Program; which included messages from several former teammates.
Staff member “Rocco” may have stated it best: “I just want to tell you how proud I am of your accomplishments. You’re a true ambassador (for) Louisville Football. What you do on and off the field is truly amazing. I watched your interviews and see how much you’ve grown and how humble you are. It’s always about your teammates. It’s never about you, and that was one of the things that always endeared me to you. The way you took care of your teammates and always put them first.”
Following the video conversation, Jackson excitedly said, “I feel like I won the Heisman again.”