BOZICH | Jackson off Finebaum's Heisman board; Others disagree - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Jackson off Finebaum's Heisman board; Others disagree

Posted: Updated:
SEC Network host Paul Finebaum said that U of L quarterback Lamar Jackson is not on his board in the 2017 Heisman Trophy race. SEC Network host Paul Finebaum said that U of L quarterback Lamar Jackson is not on his board in the 2017 Heisman Trophy race.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Lamar Jackson showed me his improved skills reading defenses last spring when I asked him about the challenges of adding a second Heisman Trophy to the one Jackson earned in December.

Jackson said he’s not focused on winning a Heisman Trophy. He will focus on directing the University of Louisville to an Atlantic Coast Conference title – and the national championship.

Superb answer. Correct answer.

But it’s the middle of July. The ACC and Southeastern Conferences both staged their media days to preview the 2017 season this week. Jackson is positioned to become the first player to win two Heisman Trophies since Archie Griffin of Ohio State scored for the second time 42 years ago. Griffin, for the record, stands alone as a two-time winner.

Can Jackson do it?

I asked Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network; Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel and Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, three veterans who cover college football, at SEC Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

The decision was split, but the discussion will linger.

PAUL FINEBAUM, SEC NETWORK

“He’s not on my board. No disrespect. I voted for him (in 2016). But I really think it would be an enormous hill to climb, doing it again.

“I think there was tremendous voter remorse (that Jackson won over Clemson’s Deshaun Watson last season). I know I had it. There’s no excuse. You vote for somebody, you vote for them.

“But after the championship game, I started to go, ‘Why did I vote for him?’

“I think that will carry over a little bit. If it’s a tie, he will not get it. He’s going to really have to have a sensational year. And so will Louisville.”

MIKE BIANCHI, ORLANDO SENTINEL

“Absolutely (Jackson can repeat), especially the way the ACC is now. The ACC has built its reputation as a football conference.

“If Louisville can come up and challenge Florida State and Clemson this year, absolutely, especially with the stats he put up last year.”

BRUCE FELDMAN, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

“I think he’s a blast to watch because he’s so athletic and so talented. But I just think it’s so hard to repeat.

“Archie Griffin didn’t repeat in an era of social media. The expectations are way out of whack now.

“He can have the same numbers that he had last year – and it still might not be good enough.

“I think there still might be a bad taste in some voter’s mouths because of the way that he finished after the Heisman. And also because of Deshaun Watson and people saying, ‘How is that not the best player in the country?’ (after Clemson beat Alabama for the national title).

“I voted for Lamar. But still. I think there’s that.

“He obviously has a chance because he’s really talented. But I think he’s a long shot because it so hard to repeat with the expectations.”

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

  • Sign Up for the WDRB Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.