Profile: Lamar Jackson
Location: Boynton Beach (Fla.)
No. 29 QB in nation
What I like: There is so much to like about Jackson. This is an extremely athletic quarterback prospect that is a true dual-threat signal caller.
Jackson has very good size, speed and quickness. He’s a legit runner and brilliant running the zone read. He has home run speed and is tough to handle in space because of his short area quickness.
It’s this quickness that makes him difficult to handle in the pocket because he can escape the initial rush and extend the play with his legs. This is where he can put so much pressure on a defense because he can run and scramble or throw on the run.
Jackson’s game has improved a ton over the past year in terms of becoming a more consistent thrower of the football. He has an above average arm and has the talent to make all the throws. This kid plays with poise and doesn’t play timid, no matter the competition.
What may be of concern: There are many areas of concern. This kid is a superior athlete for this position but he needs refinement from the ground up with his mechanics and needs to learn to play within the confines of a system. This will come with time, maturity and coaching.
Overall analysis: I absolutely love this pickup for Bobby Petrino and his Louisville program. This kid’s upside is terrific, especially going to a guy that does such of good job in developing quarterbacks like Petrino. His track record speaks for itself. Here, he lands a dangerous dual-threat signal caller that just needs to fine tune his game, more so in the passing department. But the tools are there and the kid possesses a lively arm. There’s no question Jackson could emerge as a super quarterback in the Petrino offensive system.
I honestly thought that West Virginia and Nebraska were the teams to beat here for Jackson. But remember that Louisville assistant Lamar Thomas is from Gainesville (Fla.) high school. His coach was Rick Swain. Swain is currently the head coach of Jackson at Boynton Beach. This played a huge role in his decision. There is just a comfort there for Jackson.
This is yet another big time recruit from South Florida that could and should pay huge dividends for this program. Perhaps the Jackson pledge will also help out the Cardinals with a few of his teammates.