CRAWFORD | Louisville's Jackson talks post-Heisman life and LSU bowl prep in Orlando
Lamar Jackson is hearing from celebrities and being treated like one in public after winning the Heisman Trophy, now he's trying to get back down to the day-to-day business of football.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's been one thrill ride after another for Lamar Jackson since winning the Heisman Trophy.
He's been approached by celebrities, is constantly recognized in public and on Monday at Universal Studios in Orlando experienced big theme-park attractions for the first time as the University of Louisville players enjoyed their first full day in town in preparation for Saturday's Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl game against LSU.
Jackson said he's heard from too many big names to detail, particularly players from around the nation. Peyton Manning had reached out to him even before he won the Heisman Trophy earlier this month.
"I heard from a lot of famous people," Jackson told reporters after a Tuesday workout in Orlando. "I can't name them all, but a lot of players reached out to me."
He did name one celebrity, however. "DC Young Fly, he inboxed me. So it was cool."
More common is people treating him like a celebrity. Even at Universal, Jackson was recognized.
"It was fun. I never went on rides before. That was the first time, so I had a ball," he said. "All of us were having fun, running around meeting a lot of people. . . . People see me and it's like shock sometime. People stop me and say, 'You Lamar?' So, I'm just, Yep. I don't know what to say sometimes, but it's cool."
Now, however, Jackson is looking to get back down to business and focus on a thrill ride of a different kind -- the challenge of facing one of the nation's toughest, most-athletic defenses in LSU.
"They have a great D-line and great secondary. We've just got to be ready, that's all. . . . From watching film, that D-line. They have nice speed, can move a lot."
Jackson said he missed his time away from the football field while tending to Heisman business.
He said he went about a week without throwing a ball, and he could tell when he returned to workouts at U of L's Trager Indoor Practice Facility.
"My first pass, it was above, a high pass, so I was kind of mad," he said. "My first pass was horrible, so I just had to get used to it."
Now that he's back in the groove, Jackson is hoping to return to form coming off back-to-back losses to end the season. His Cardinals are 3-point underdogs to LSU. The ACC is now 7-3 against the SEC this season, but one of those losses was by Louisville to Kentucky in a game in which the Cardinals were heavily favored.
Jackson said the game is important not just because it comes against a high-profile opponent, but because of the way the Cardinals finished the season.
"It's important regardless," he said. "I want to win, the team wants to win, we've got seniors leaving. Those last two games, I'm still mad about those."
Jackson acknowledged that he expects to be more of a target of opposing defenses now that he has won the Heisman. Other teams will now circle their games against him. It's just a challenge he has to accept, he said.
"Well, I guess it's going to come with it," he said. "But we've got a great offensive line, so we've got to get ready."
Even the trash talk, which ramped up on the other side of the ball as his profile rose and the season progressed, will likely take a step forward.
"Yeah, but I don't really talk back," Jackson said. "I just play football. Talking ain't going to do nothing. Not at all."
The Cardinals will resume bowl practice on Wednesday. WDRB will be in Orlando with reports beginning Wednesday night.
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