Louisville surprises Lamar Jackson by retiring his jersey
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville surprises Lamar Jackson by retiring his jersey number

Before Lamar Jackson vaulted himself into NFL superstardom with an MVP season in 2019, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback burst on to the scene at the University of Louisville where he became the school's first and only Heisman Trophy winner. Now, Louisville is honoring his legacy by retiring the No. 8 jersey Jackson wore during his time with the Cardinals.

Jackson, 24, was surprised with the news by the Louisville athletic department and believed he was sitting down to do some interviews with the media. Instead, he received messages of congratulations from friends and former teammates.

"I feel like I won the Heisman again," Jackson said after hearing the news.

The decision will be made official during a ceremony on Nov. 13 when Louisville hosts Syracuse. The only other player in Louisville history to have their number retired is Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, who wore No. 16 at the university.

"His humble heart and grounded approach endears him to his teammates, his coaches and any staff he's ever been around," Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said of Jackson in a release. "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."

In addition to the Heisman Trophy, Jackson is also the only Louisville player to win the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards. In three seasons, he threw for 9,043 yards and 69 touchdowns and also ran for 4,132 yards with 50 rushing touchdowns.

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