With football fans awaiting the new season, we are producing regular installments highlighting the best in college football that are strictly from Broward County. Traditionally, the area continues to pour out some of the best talent in college football, year in and year out, as well as the entire South Florida region.
The first feature is on none other than the reigning Heisman winner and the quarterback for the University of Louisville Lamar Jackson. Although Jackson graduated from Palm Beach county, his hometown is listed as Pompano Beach, the proud hometown of NFL stars such as Patrick Peterson, Rashard Robinson and of course rapper Kodak Black. Just as recently as this summer, Jackson returned back home to where he was presented with the key to the city for all of his accomplishments this past season. Anyone who turned on their television during last season was sure to have seen Jackson scoring touchdowns at a record pace, while becoming the youngest Heisman in the history of the award.
The Rise to the Heisman
Lamar Jackson played youth football in the nationally recognized South Florida Youth Football League (SFYFL), for a couple of different teams. He played for the Pompano Eagles, Northwest Broward Raiders and of course with the Pompano Cowboys where he learned how to play the sport. Even back than he was always a quarterback and would have a wristband with the plays attached to it, he would make adjustments and audible plays even back than.
After the age of 14, Jackson would move to Palm Beach county with his family where he played his freshman and sophomore season in high school at Santaluces high school, alma mater of Vince Wilfork, even as a freshman he starred against older competition. He would end up making another move transferring to Boynton Beach high school where his plays made him legendary. Seriously his juke of a defender in high school went viral and has been viewed more than a million times. If that wasn’t enough, video surfaced of him throwing a ball at least 85 yards, he’s claimed that it was 95 yards but poor video quality makes it hard to confirm that.
With all of that there was reason why his offensive coordinator raved about him before he arrived on campus and announced him as their quarterback, and it’s easy to see why he is a certified play-maker. His play-making ability might have even slowed his progression because going into Louisville he admitted that he never had a playbook in high school and that he after things would begin to breakdown in his progressions he would just run. He got by his entire freshman season on that ability and scored 23 touchdowns. Going into the spring of his sophomore season he was forced to learn the entirety of his playbook, using virtual reality goggles and early sessions where he reviewed all of his plays. The evidence of that work started showing in Louisville’s spring game that year. He completed 24 of 29 passes for 519 yards and 8 touchdowns no interceptions, all in one half of football.
If anyone thought the spring game was a fluke, he proved himself the entire college season breaking records in the ACC, as well as nationally. He became the first quarterback to throw for over 3,300 yards and rush for 1,500 yards in the same season. He broke a conference record with 51 total touchdowns and became only the sixth quarterback ever to rush and throw for 20 touchdowns in the same season. Oh and he won the Heisman trophy over first round draft picks like Jabrill Peppers, Deshaun Watson and talents like Baker Mayfield and DeDe Westbrook.
Jackson’s intangibles make him arguably the most talented college football player in the country and he is only in his second season of really knowing the entire playbook. If college football teams thought that Jackson may show any chance of slowing down in the near future, he’s only developing more. Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino released on his Twitter feed the fastest 40 times on the team. Second on the list was Lamar Jackson with a 4.34.
— Bobby Petrino (@CoachPetrinoUL) March 8, 2017