Lamar Jackson is fresh off a sensational year, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016. And he’s back for more in 2017, hoping to become one of the few repeat winners of the prestigious award.
But will be? That’s the question Rick Bozich of WDRB in Louisville asked three prominent media members in recent days. The result was split, but the strongest response came from SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum. The radio and TV personality said Jackson is not on his preseason board for the Heisman Trophy.
“No disrespect,” Finebaum said. “I voted for him (in 2016). But I really think it would be an enormous hill to climb, doing it again. I think there was tremendous voter remorse (that Jackson won over Clemson’s Deshaun Watson last season). I know I had it. There’s no excuse. You vote for somebody, you vote for them. But after the championship game, I started to go, ‘Why did I vote for him? I think that will carry over a little bit. If it’s a tie, he will not get it. He’s going to really have to have a sensational year. And so will Louisville.”
Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman said he considers Jackson to be a “long shot” going into this season because of the challenges with repeating and, like Finebaum said, the way Jackson performed at the end of the season.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi was very pro-Jackson heading into this season.
Jackson won last year’s Heisman Trophy after throwing for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also rushed for an astounding 1571 yards and 21 touchdowns.