How Can Lamar Jackson Repeat And Win A Second Heisman?
Lamar Jackson came through with a Heisman win as a sophomore, but can he do it again? What’s it going to take to repeat and win a second straight Heisman?
Step One: More
In general, Heisman voters are looking for something otherworldly to consider anyone to join Archie Griffin as the only two-time winners.
Sam Bradford got hurt right away and Mark Ingram was never quite right, but Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel, Jason White and Matt Leinart all came up with excellent efforts at getting it done.
And, lost in the course of history, Griffin shouldn’t have won that second Heisman. He ran for 1,450 yards and four scores – Pete Johnson DOMINATED around the goal line – and there were better options.
Tebow probably should’ve repeated – I voted for him – and O.J. Simpson should’ve definitely have been a two-time winner.
But I digress.
Just like every sequel, it has to be more of the same, but only bigger and with more explosions.
It’s asking for way, way, way too much to better his 1,538 rushing yards and 21 scores, and his 3,390 passing yards and 30 scores with nine scores, but two come up with a twozie, the stats have to be even better.
Utterly destroy the non-conference schedule
This might be Jackson’s biggest issue. Purdue, Kent State, Murray State – there isn’t anything in September to capture the imagination.
Everyone will watch the reigning Heisman-winner in Lucas Oil Stadium vs. the Boilermakers, and he has to be nothing short of electric. The regular season finale against Kentucky has to be a coronation – and a win this time around.
Win the ACC Atlantic
Or come close. He all but ended the 2016 Heisman race with the win over Florida State in September, but this time around the game will be in Tallahassee. On the flip side, he and the Cardinals get Clemson at home.
Sort of like the non-conference schedule, the ACC slate won’t offer too many dangerous dates. On the plus side, he should light up Syracuse, North Carolina, and NC State type teams like a Christmas tree. However, that means he has to be phenomenal when the lights are on against the Seminoles and the Tigers.
This time around, there can’t be a top other option
From Baker Mayfield to – maybe – J.T. Barrett, and from Derrius Guice to Jake Browning to Jalen Hurts, there can’t be a new flavor for Heisman voters to taste. Jackson has to be so good and so amazing that his big games offset all the other stars returning – and the new ones about to emerge.
Again, it comes down to showing up when everyone’s watching. Since Jackson won’t have as many spotlight moments, his big games – yeah, no duh – have to be more amazing than everyone else’s.
Stay awesome off the field
And that doesn’t just mean there can’t be any trouble.
Tebow became a little bit too Tebowey.
Manziel became way too Johnny Footballey, and White became a little too systemey.
There were some easy excuses for some to prevent past winners from being two-timers, and it’s sad that everyone will now try looking for holes in his game, but if the personality continues to match the skill, all will be fine.
As long as Jackson continues to show the same sort of wonderful amazement he did during his Heisman speech, and as long as he continues to be every bit the leader he was this year both on and off the field, then the football side should take care of itself.
It’s going to take something legendary for Jackson to become a two-time Heisman winner. And he has everything is in place to do it.