Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson is a good college football player. So good, in fact, that he won the 2016 Heisman Trophy award.
Is he good enough to set a stat line that no college FBS football player — and specifically quarterback — has ever done before, though? One analyst appears to think so, and that’s NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks, a former college football and NFL player himself.
Analyzing college players from an NFL perspective, Brooks had this to say about Jackson, who’s entering his junior season at Louisville:
“Lamar Jackson will be the first 4,000/2,000 player in FBS history. He will pass for 4,000 yards while topping the 2,000-yard mark as a rusher. Although Bobby Petrino is attempting to curb his running in an effort to make Jackson a better NFL prospect, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner will continue to torment defenses with his spectacular skills as a dual-threat playmaker.”
Those are some major expectations for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and if he does set or beat those goals, there’s a very good chance Jackson wins college football’s top individual award for the second season in a row. In fact, he would be a no-brainer.
To Brooks’ credit, Jackson does have what it takes to get the job done. He’s as explosive as a quarterback as we’ve seen in college football in a long time. He can throw the rock — completing 56.2 percent of his passes last season for 3,547 yards and 30 touchdowns compared to just nine interceptions — but he’s also perhaps one of the best open field runners in college football. When he gets space, he has the speed to outrun any defender, and he’s also elusive much like a top-tier running back.
Jackson rushed for 1,571 yards last season and 21 rushing touchdowns, and there’s a good chance he’ll be even better in 2017.
He’ll have to be better in order to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 2,000, but he certainly has the potential. If there’s any player in college football who could accomplish such lofty numbers, it would be Jackson.