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


Sports columnist v beat writing suffer on baseball, golf, the NFL, university basketball and also college football

If girlfriend remember the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner as Deshaun Watson the Clemson, that"s fine. Indigenous here, a season removed, Watson had actually the greatest influence on the sport, and also his team won the best prize, and also he must have taken the hardware.

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If you entered this season reasoning the Heisman favourite was Sam Darnold of southern Cal, that"s fine, too, because the critical time he showed up on a field, in the increased Bowl versus Penn State, that threw because that 453 yards and also five touchdowns and also looked very much favor he might quarterback the brand-new York jets a work later.

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

"I mean, the man is very, very special," claimed North Carolina Coach Larry Fedora, whose team to be torched by Jackson for six (six!) touchdowns last week. "I don"t care who the plays against."

This week, that plays against Clemson.

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

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

So right here comes Jackson, the junior quarterback that the Louisville Cardinals. A year ago, he used a losing initiative at Clemson — in which that accounted for 457 yards of complete offense and also three scores , up against Watson’s 397 yards of complete offense and also five scores (with three picks ) — to introduce himself as a Heisman hopeful.

Now Jackson and also the Cardinals will hold the Tigers, who room without Watson but with probably the country"s most destructive protective front. And the Heisman winner that protective front will challenge is . . . Better?

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

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

Starting through the award’s start in 1935, the very first 10 Heismans checked out seniors. By the time Griffin won together a junior in 1974, there had been 35 seniors and also just 4 juniors . The possibility to repeat to be rare.

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

And yet none that the underclassmen repeated.

Of course, number of — video camer Newton, Robert Griffin III, Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry native the previous decade alone — won the trophy and went directly to the NFL. But wouldn’t the odds have it that among these various other players would certainly repeat?

Has recent college football developed a larger star 보다 Tebow? The Florida an excellent won his award in a year in i m sorry his team walk a pedestrian 9-4 — as soon as he accounted because that an astounding 55 touchdowns. Yet even as the led Florida come the nationwide championship together a small in 2008, he produced 762 under yards of total offense and 13 fewer touchdowns and also finished third behind Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy .

Bradford was simply a sophomore, but his repeat attempt was derailed by a shoulder injury suffered in the opener, a trouble that put him out for the year by October. So Alabama running earlier Mark Ingram, likewise a sophomore, edged out Stanford earlier Toby Gerhart in the closestly Heisman gyeongju in background (1,304 votes come 1,276 votes). But Ingram’s repeat effort went awry from the start. He missed the Tide’s an initial two games with a knee injury, and also he ran for barely half the yards he had actually as a sophomore. Therefore Newton, as electric a university performer together there has actually been for a generation, quickly seized the compensation in his just season in ~ Auburn, a year that developed a nationwide title.

Manziel joins Tebow in the conversation together the sport’s greatest star of the past two decades, and also his sophomore year created a greater completion percentage, much more touchdown passes and a greater quarterback rating than his Heisman-winning freshman campaign. Yet he didn’t have actually the sport-shaking win over Alabama the he notched as a freshman, and also Texas A&M lost 4 games. Thus, Winston and his 40 touchdown passes stepped through the crack in the door en course to a nationwide title. And when Winston followed by throwing under touchdowns and an ext interceptions together a sophomore, well, there was Mariota — beating the in the Heisman race, in which Winston came in sixth, and also then in the university football playoff.

So entering this year, the was basic to i disbanded Jackson together a back-to-back winner due to the fact that what proof do we have, end the past 40 seasons, the such a creature existed? Both Darnold and also Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield gotten in the year as betting favorites end Jackson, and also you might get kind odds, before the openers, top top Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett or penn State running back Saquon Barkley .

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

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“He’s no a player the you have the right to assign a single defender to,” claimed Virginia Coach Bronco Mendenhall, whose team permitted Jackson 449 yards the offense and also four touchdowns last season and also must face him again this fall. “It take away a player down the middle and also usually one on both political parties of him. . . . You operation out of number if you have to put that plenty of on the quarterback. . . . It’s an amazing challenge.”

The challenge, this week, drops to Clemson. Swinney’s midweek assessment is the Jackson is “as great a player together there is ~ above the planet.” He referred to this season merely as “Part Two.”

And component Two could be better. One beat from critical week’s game against the Tar Heels reflects how. Midway through the second quarter, Carolina came through a edge blitz indigenous Jackson’s right. Last year, Jackson had the athletic capacity to sidestep a single rusher and gain yardage. This year, though, when faced with one unblocked defender, Jackson not just dodged him through ease however kept his eye downfield. The play, on i beg your pardon a typical quarterback would have actually been dead, turned right into a 75-yard touchdown pass.