Ravens’ Lamar Jackson Receives ‘Legend8ry’ Honor From Louisville

Lamar Jackson Ravens

Getty Lamar Jackson scores a touchdown for the Louisville Cardinals in 2017.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson may be only 24 years old, but that hasn’t stopped him from receiving an all-time honor from his college football team, the Louisville Cardinals, who retired Jackson’s no. 8 jersey today.

Louisville Athletics surprised Jackson today at the Ravens’ athletic facility with a video featuring former coaches and teammates congratulating him on the achievement.

The 2018 first-round pick was visibly emotional, especially when he was described as a “role model.”

This is the second time this year that Jackson has received recognition from the University of Louisville for his achievements on and off the field during his three seasons there. In August, it was announced that Jackson would be immortalized by a statue outside of Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, joining fellow Baltimore football icon Johnny Unitas.

He will again follow in Unitas’ footsteps with his jersey retirement, which is set to take place during the Ravens’ bye week on November 13, per Eric Crawford of WDRB Louisville.

Jackson was extremely successful at Louisville, becoming the youngest Heisman Award winner in NCAA history after a sterling 2016 season that saw him rack up 5,024 total yards and 51 combined passing and rushing touchdowns in just 13 games. He swept the college football honors that year, winning the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award.

He followed up his 2016 season by leading college football in total yards in 2017 with 5,261 yards, the tenth-most in NCAA history. Jackson then entered the 2018 NFL Draft, falling to the last pick of the first round despite his pedigree and talent.

It all arguably worked out for the best, though, as Jackson was selected by the Ravens with the 32nd pick, and by the end of his rookie season, Baltimore had completely reengineered their offense around their young quarterback. Jackson would go on to be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2019, and he is again making a push for the award this season.

Jackson’s Louisville Highlights Overtake Twitter

After the announcement of Jackson’s jersey retirement, highlights reels from the dazzling quarterback began to spread on social media.

The Louisville Football Twitter account posted a tribute video to their former quarterback, featuring highlights from his high school, college, and NFL career.

ESPN’s SportsCenter posted a compilation of Jackson’s best plays as a Cardinals, featuring his Heisman acceptance speech as well.

Bleacher Report noted that the NFL had changed their Twitter header to a picture of Jackson, with his iconic “Not bad for a running back” quote as the account’s bio.

It’s worth noting, however, that the header has been there since the last time Jackson made news, which was his 19-point comeback against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

Jackson Called ‘Selfless’ By Teammate

Jackson’s leadership and love of his teammates was brought up multiple times during his surprise announcement today.

“The thing I tell them is how much you love. Lamar, you love those boys, your teammates. No matter what, you would do whatever it took to make them win,” said one Louisville official congratulating Jackson this morning.

Jaylen Smith, one of Jackson’s top receivers at Louisville, congratulated his former quarterback on Twitter and commenting on Jackson’s character, calling him “selfless as they come.”