Lamar Jackson is one of the best players in the history of Louisville football. However, if it wasn’t for a subtle assist by a Cardinals assistant in the recruiting process, the quarterback might’ve never donned the red and black.
In an excellent story by SI reporter Johnathan Jones, it’s revealed that former Louisville assistant Lamar Thomas had to get creative to pique the interest of Bobby Petrino in the dynamic South Florida prospect.
It turns out, all it took was a little editing of Jackson’s highlight reel.
In 2013, Lamar Thomas, the former University of Miami wideout who spent eight seasons in the NFL, was coaching receivers at Western Kentucky under Bobby Petrino. It was Swain, Thomas’s high school coach, who put him on to Jackson. Petrino took the Louisville job in January 2014 and Thomas followed him, continuing to recruit Jackson. He had a tough time selling his boss on the quarterback’s tape though, so he came up with a different approach.
“His highlight film at first was runs and then throws,” Thomas says. “I told [Swain], Hey, put that throwing on his highlight film first. Don’t put that running crap up first.”
Swain changed the film and posted a new highlight tape to Hudl. Thomas sat down with Petrino in the offensive meeting room.
Have you told me about this kid before?
Can we get this kid?
“Coach, I got him!”
The rest is history, as the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner amassed more than 9,000 yards in three years for 69 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.
While there’s strangely still those that question Jackson’s ability as a quarterback heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, they’ll be hard-pressed to convince his mother, who is representing him.