Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had no idea what was in store when Public Relations Vice President Patrick Gleason brought him into a room filled with Cardinal red and numerous No. 8 jerseys hanging in a locker off to the side. Jackson sat down in front of the computer, with the Louisville Cardinal logo stamped over the computer logo, and was all set to meet with the media. But instead, Jackson was greeted with a video announcing that his No. 8 jersey will be retired by the Louisville Cardinals.
Jackson continues to be immortalized by Louisville, as earlier this year it was announced a statue of Jackson would be erected in front of Cardinal stadium.
Jackson still has a full career ahead of him in the NFL, but with his playing days done at Louisville, his legacy has been cemented. That career in Louisville totals over 9,000 passing yards and 69 passing touchdowns in three seasons, along with 4,132 rushing yards and another 50 touchdowns on the ground.
In Jackson’s Heisman trophy-winning season alone, Jackson dominated college football by completing 56.2% of his passes for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns, combined with 1,571 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
Jackson is the second Baltimore quarterback whose greatness began in Louisville. The other: John Constantine Unitas.
Here’s to hoping Jackson’s NFL career ends with enough glory to erect a statue next to Johnny’s.