Lamar Jackson torched north Carolina for 6 touchdowns last weekend. (Gerry Broome/Associated Press)


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If friend remember the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner together Deshaun Watson that Clemson, that"s fine. Native here, a season removed, Watson had the greatest impact on the sport, and his team winner the biggest prize, and he must have taken the hardware.

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If you gone into this season reasoning the Heisman favourite was Sam Darnold of southern Cal, that"s fine, too, due to the fact that the last time he showed up on a field, in the rose Bowl versus Penn State, the threw for 453 yards and five touchdowns and also looked an extremely much favor he can quarterback the new York jets a day later.

And climate the 2017 season starts, and you’re reminded: Oh, yeah. Lamar Jackson.

"I mean, the male is very, very special," said North Carolina Coach Larry Fedora, who team was torched by Jackson for 6 (six!) touchdowns last week. "I don"t care who the plays against."

This week, the plays versus Clemson.

“Oh, man,” Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said.

Now, just one man has actually won the Heisman Trophy twice, and also that to be Archie Griffin, the running ago from Ohio State. Griffin is 63 year old. This is not due to the fact that only seniors success this award. In fact, there hasn’t to be a senior as a Heisman winner in much more than a decade.

So here comes Jackson, the small quarterback of the Louisville Cardinals. A year ago, he offered a losing effort at Clemson — in which he accounted for 457 yards of total offense and three scores , up against Watson’s 397 yards of full offense and also five scores (with three picks ) — to present himself as a Heisman hopeful.

Now Jackson and also the Cardinals will host the Tigers, who space without Watson yet with maybe the country"s many destructive defensive front. And also the Heisman winner that protective front will face is . . . Better?

“I think he is much enhanced as a passer,” Fedora said.

Before we examine that insurance claim — and, just two gamings into a season in i beg your pardon Jackson has currently produced 1,010 yards and also eight scores combined on the ground and also through the air, there’s many of proof that Fedora’s best — there is the issue of that actors bronze statuette awarded each December in Manhattan.

Starting through the award’s inception in 1935, the very first 10 Heismans saw seniors. By the moment Griffin won as a junior in 1974, there had actually been 35 seniors and just 4 juniors . The chance to repeat was rare.

Now the award’s trends have fully flipped. The last senior to success the Heisman was Ohio State quarterback trojan Smith in 2006. There had actually never been a sophomore winner till Florida’s Tim Tebow in 2007 — and also he to be the first of 3 straight. No student in the first year won the award before Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel in 2012 — and also then Florida State frosh Jameis Winston won the next year.

And yet none the the underclassmen repeated.

Of course, several — electronic came Newton, Robert Griffin III, Marcus Mariota and also Derrick Henry indigenous the previous decade alone — winner the trophy and also went directly to the NFL. Yet wouldn’t the odds have actually it that among these various other players would repeat?

Has recent college football developed a bigger star 보다 Tebow? The Florida good won his award in a year in which his team go a pedestrian 9-4 — once he accounted because that an astounding 55 touchdowns. Yet even as the led Florida to the national championship as a small in 2008, he produced 762 fewer yards of complete offense and 13 under touchdowns and also finished 3rd behind Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy .

Bradford was just a sophomore, but his repeat attempt was derailed by a shoulder injury experienced in the opener, a trouble that placed him out for the year by October. So Alabama running back Mark Ingram, also a sophomore, edged out Stanford ago Toby Gerhart in the closest Heisman gyeongju in history (1,304 votes to 1,276 votes). But Ingram’s repeat initiative went awry indigenous the start. The missed the Tide’s an initial two games with a knee injury, and he ran because that barely fifty percent the yards he had as a sophomore. For this reason Newton, as electrical a college performer together there has been because that a generation, quickly seized the award in his just season at Auburn, a year that created a nationwide title.

Manziel joins Tebow in the conversation together the sport’s greatest star the the past two decades, and his sophomore year produced a higher completion percentage, more touchdown passes and also a greater quarterback rating than his Heisman-winning freshman campaign. Yet he didn’t have the sport-shaking win over Alabama the he notched together a freshman, and also Texas A&M lost 4 games. Thus, Winston and his 40 touchdown passes stepped v the crack in the door en path to a nationwide title. And also when Winston complied with by throwing fewer touchdowns and much more interceptions together a sophomore, well, there to be Mariota — beating that in the Heisman race, in which Winston come in sixth, and also then in the college football playoff.

So entering this year, the was basic to dismiss Jackson as a back-to-back winner due to the fact that what proof do we have, over the past 40 seasons, the such a creature existed? Both Darnold and also Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield entered the year together betting favorites over Jackson, and also you could get kind odds, prior to the openers, ~ above Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett or penn State running back Saquon Barkley .

And climate they started playing football again. And Jackson stepped in, confounding very first Purdue, climate North Carolina .

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“He’s not a player that you can assign a single defender to,” claimed Virginia Coach Bronco Mendenhall, who team permitted Jackson 449 yards that offense and four touchdowns last season and also must confront him again this fall. “It bring away a player under the middle and usually one top top both sides of him. . . . You run out of number if you have to put that many on the quarterback. . . . The an impressive challenge.”

The challenge, this week, drops to Clemson. Swinney’s midweek evaluate is that Jackson is “as good a player as there is ~ above the planet.” He described this season just as “Part Two.”

And component Two might be better. One pat from last week’s game versus the Tar Heels mirrors how. Midway v the second quarter, Carolina came v a corner blitz from Jackson’s right. Critical year, Jackson had actually the athletic capacity to sidestep a solitary rusher and also gain yardage. This year, though, when confronted with an unblocked defender, Jackson not just dodged him through ease yet kept his eyes downfield. The play, on i beg your pardon a normal quarterback would have been dead, turned right into a 75-yard touchdown pass.