On September 17th around 4:05 pm, Michael Vick tweeted: “Lamar Jackson 5x better than what I was at V-Tech…. enough said!! #future.” If one of the best dual-threats to ever touch a football says that about the Heisman Trophy candidate Lamar Jackson, then I’m pretty convinced that this guy is the real deal. Jackson has proven through only 3 games in the 2016 season that he is the best player on the field; this is the same attention that Vick received during his breakout season in 1999 (we are going to focus on Vick’s sophomore season in 2000 for relativity of time). Through 3 games of his sophomore season, Jackson has accumulated to pass for 8 touchdowns and run for 10 touchdowns. If he were to stay on this wrecking-pace, he could approximately get 40+ touchdowns in this season alone! This is insane because we aren’t even in the middle of the college football season and we’re already imagining the historical records that could be broken. In Vick’s sophomore season at Virginia Tech (2000), he only passed 8 touchdowns and ran for 8 touchdowns. When looking at the stats of both of these well-respected, highly-touted QBs, people could point out the play-styles are different with VT being a more run-oriented, option-dominated offense similar to modern-day Georgia Tech. And, Louisville being more of a spread, QB-dominated offense. However, stats are stats and Jackson is fixing to having a special season thus far.
When looking at the feats of a prime-time QB, they have to be winners and show that they can make the right reads and adjustments in order to help their team win. In Vick’s first 3 games of the 2000 season, they beat Akron 52-23, East Carolina 45-28, and they beat Rutgers 49-0. Jackson and Louisville have also started off hot beating Charlotte 70-14, Syracuse 62-28, and they defeated Florida State (#2 in the nation) 63-20. Louisville’s offense has posted 195 points total so far and Lamar Jackson has accounted for 60 of those 195 points which is about 31% of the team’s total points this season. Not many offenses can score over 60 points in consecutive games but when you have a dual-threat like Jackson carrying a bulk of the load this statistic is pretty damn realistic.
It’s still pretty early to be comparing Jackson, an amateur athlete who hasn’t stepped on an NFL field, to a quarterback that had the whole package and solidified his legacy and reputation (minus the dog-fighting incident). Vick had carried his talents onto the pro level immediately; and everyone knows that each level of competition is completely different skill-wise. Vick had the cannon of Brett Favre and the legs of Jesse Owens. He had multiple methods of getting his team touchdowns. With Vick’s ability to scamper away from defensive pursuit and extending the offensive play, the majority of the outcomes played in his favor. Vick, practically, was playing chess while his opponents were playing checkers. Will Lamar Jackson be great and pan out to be what Vick foreshadows? Only time will tell.