Louisville's Jackson to enter NFL draft

Jan 5, 2018 - 3:41 PM Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, announced Friday that he will enter the 2018 NFL draft.

Jackson completed 59.1 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season as the Cardinals finished 8-5, 4-4 in the ACC. He rushed for 1,601 yards and 18 TDs -- 30 more yards and three touchdowns fewer than he amassed during his Heisman season. Jackson tossed 30 TD passes and nine interceptions in 2016.

He finishes his three-year career at Louisville with 9,043 yards, 69 touchdowns and 27 interceptions passing, and 4,132 yards and 50 TDs rushing.

"My time in Louisville has produced some of the best memories of my life,'' Jackson said in a statement on Twitter. "I have had the pleasure of being in the presence of some of the best professors, coaches, advisers, training staff, athletes and fans in the nation. With their help, I have been able to grow not only as a quarterback, but as a teammate, student, and most of all, as a man.

"After much discussion with my family and coaches, I have made the decision to take the next step in my career and enter the 2018 NFL draft.''

Jackson enters a draft deep at quarterback as five could be selected in the first round. Many believe USC's Sam Darnold and UCLA's Josh Rosen will be the top two signal-callers taken April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Jackson joins Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman winner with Jackson a finalist, and Wyoming's Josh Allen as the next three top candidates.

Jackson showed signs of brilliance during his freshman season, which was capped by a 27-21 victory over Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl when he threw for two touchdowns while rushing for 226 yards on 22 carries and two scores.

He gained at least 119 yards rushing in eight of 12 games in 2016, winning the Heisman before LSU kept him out of the end zone and held him to 33 rushing and 153 passing yards in a 29-9 Citrus Bowl loss.

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