New York, NY (WAVE) - The night is finally here. Heisman Trophy night in New York.
Ever since Lamar Jackson scored five touchdowns in UofL's 63-20 win over then #2 Florida State, he has been the favorite to take home the statue.
He became the first current UofL football player to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, and tonight, he figures to join even more select company, as just the 81st man to win the award.
Only three college sophomores, Tim Tebow, Mark Ingram and Sam Bradford have ever won the award.
Elvis Dumervil in 2005, is the only other UofL player to even receive Heisman votes. He finished 10th, getting nine third place votes.
This is unprecedented. It takes so many factors, out of your control, to get on the Heisman radar. You need to have attention grabbing performances or plays, like Doug Flutie's hail mary, or Johnny Manziel's escape job against Alabama, and then you when the spotlight is on you, you cannot wilt.
Jackson kicked off the season just off the Heisman radar after passing for 200 yards and rushing for 200 in the Cards Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M, then he scored eight touchdowns in the first half of the season opening win over Charlotte.
In week two, in a prime time, Friday night, ESPN game at Syracuse, he came up with a play that had staying power. His hurdle over Syracuse defensive back Cordell Hudson had everybody talking.
That 62-28 win got ESPN College GameDay to town, for the first time ever, and then Jackson did the rest. A touchdown pass and four on the ground, including a spinning 47 yarder.
Since that performance he has been at the top of the Heisman lists. He's maintained that spot with plays like his game-winning touchdown pass to Jaylen Smith at Virginia and his seven touchdowns at Boston College.
You know the names, Paul Hornung, Roger Staubach, Archie Griffin, Earl Campbell, Bo Jackson and on and on. Tonight, get ready for Lamar Jackson to join that group.