Louisville will retire Lamar Jackson’s No. 8 jersey next month, the school announced Saturday.
Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, will be honored during the Cardinals’ Nov. 13 game against Syracuse. He’ll join Johnny Unitas, another Cardinals quarterback who starred in Baltimore, as the only players in school history to have had their numbers retired.
“This made my day,” he said after the school surprised him with a video announcement. “I feel like I won a Heisman again.”
As a sophomore, Jackson became the youngest player ever and the first in school history to win the prestigious award, given to college football’s top player. He set Atlantic Coast Conference records for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,571) and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (21) and passed for 3,543 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
After arriving at Louisville as an overlooked recruit, Jackson finished his career with 9,043 passing yards, 69 passing touchdowns, 4,132 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns. The Ravens took him No. 32 overall in the 2018 NFL draft, and he went on to be named NFL Most Valuable Player a year later.
With the Ravens playing the Dolphins in Miami on Nov. 11, he’s expected to attend the retirement ceremony in Louisville two days later.
“Lamar earned the Heisman and then the NFL MVP, and he’s not even 25 years old. Even more remarkable, he’s only getting better,” Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said in a statement. “His humble heart and grounded approach endears him to his teammates, his coaches and any staff he’s ever been around. He knows it takes eleven to be successful on offense, not one. We’re so proud to retire his number 8 for what he has accomplished so far but are equally excited about what’s to come.”
Tyra announced in August that Jackson would also be immortalized with a statue at Cardinal Stadium, likely placed alongside that of former Baltimore Colts star Unitas. It’s unclear what the statue would look like or when it would be installed.
“We couldn’t ask for a better representative of our football program,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said in a statement. “Lamar’s influence goes far beyond our campus — he’s got this entire city behind him every day and we can’t wait to welcome him home.”