LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Lamar Jackson steps onto center stage on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The sophomore quarterback is one of two players UofL is taking to the ACC Kickoff.
Jackson is coming off of the best performance of his young career, and one of the best in school history. He threw for 227 yards and a score and rushed for 226 and two more touchdowns in the Cards 27-21 Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M. Jackson is just the third quarterback to throw for 200 yards and rush for 200 in a bowl game, joining Vince Young (Texas) and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M).
Cards head coach Bobby Petrino says his signal caller is ready for the bright lights and media attention in Charlotte.
"I think he would rather run out there in Atlanta in front of 70,000 fans playing Auburn, than going and sitting in front and talking to you," Petrino said on Thursday. "That's part of it, he has to understand that. That goes with the position, and he'll go do a good job. Lamar is a great young man, got a great personality. He loves life. He likes to smile and laugh and go out and compete. This will be something new for him, but I know he'll do a good job."
Petrino and his staff learned plenty about Jackson on his first college play. He threw an interception on a trick play in the Cards season opener against Auburn in the Georgia Dome.
"He knew it was just a bad call, so you blame that on the head coach," Petrino joked. "What he did show there is that he's ready to be on the big stage and that he's a great competitor and likes it."
Jackson is considered a dark horse Heisman candidate. He already holds the career rushing record at UofL for a quarterback, rushing for 960 yards in 12 games. The old career record belonged to Stefan LeFors, who rushed for 756 yards from 2002-04.
Senior linebacker Keith Kelsey and Petrino will join Jackson in Charlotte.