University of Louisville legend Lamar Jackson will have his No. 8 jersey number retired on Nov. 13 during a ceremony at the Cardinals’ home game versus Syracuse, Vice President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra announced last week.
Jackson will join Johnny Unitas as the only other player in UofL history to have his number retired. Unitas’ No. 16 was retired in 2003.
“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. He was born shortly before Tom Brady entered the league so has the time to go beyond anything we’ve seen before. 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 11 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. This city has big Ls up for our guy,” Tyra said.
Wide receiver Tyler Harrell and defensive lineman Henry Bryant, who are currently wearing that number this season, will have the opportunity to finish the season in that jersey before the number will be officially retired at the end of the year.
Jackson, a three-year letterwinner for the Cardinals from 2015-17, became the youngest player ever (19 years, 337 days) to win the Heisman Trophy Award in 2016 and was named a finalist for the award in 2017. He won multiple national awards, including the Maxwell Award (2016), Walter Camp Player of the Year (2016), Associated Press Player of the Year (2016), CBS Sports Player of the Year (2016), The Sporting News Player of the Year (2016), ACC Player of the Year (2016, 2017) and ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2016, 2017) – the first time in league history a player won back-to-back awards.
The Pompano Beach, Florida, native set or tied 42 Louisville single-game, season, and career records during his time in the Derby City and owns seven Atlantic Coast Conference marks.
“We couldn’t ask for a better representative of our football program. 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,” said UofL Head Football Coach Scott Satterfield.
Jackson passed for 9,043 yards, 69 touchdowns and rushed 655 times for a school record 4,132 yards (6.3 avg.) and 50 touchdowns. He finished his career ranking sixth in the FBS for career rushing yards (4,132) by a quarterback and became the third player in FBS history to record 50 career rushing and 50 career passing touchdowns in a career.
Playing only three seasons, Jackson is the only player in FBS history to rush for at least 1,500 yards and pass for at least 3,500 yards in a season (accomplished the feat in both 2016 & 2017). Playing in only 38 career games at UofL, Jackson owns school records for total yards (13,175) and total yards per game (346.7 ypg – ACC record).
Jackson was selected No. 32 in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens and has become one of the top quarterbacks in the league. In his fourth season, Jackson was named the Associated Press and PFWA NFL MVP (2019) and PFWA Offensive Player of the Year (2019).
During his MVP season, Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and a league high 36 TDs (also a franchise record). He added 1,206 rushing yards (sixth in the league), the most by a QB in NFL single-season history and helped Baltimore set a new NFL single-season team record for rushing yards (3,296).
The UofL Athletics Department will announce additional information regarding fan engagement in the weeks leading up to that game. Tickets for the Syracuse game can be purchased by visiting gocards.com/tickets.