Lamar Jackson Jr. (1997- )

Lamar Jackson, 2020
Courtesy All-Pro Reels (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Lamar Dematrice Jackson Jr. is a professional football quarterback for the Baltimore (Maryland) Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Louisville until his junior year, skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Jackson was selected 32nd overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft. During his time playing in the NFL, Jackson has become a pro bowler, first team all-pro, NFL passing touchdown leader, and NFL Most Valuable Player.

Lamar Jackson was born on January 7, 1997 to Felicia Jones and Lamar Jackson Sr. in Pompano Beach, Florida. In 2005, his father died in a car accident which left his mother to care for him and his siblings. Jackson attended Santa Luces Community High School in Lantana, Florida where he played for the school football team before transferring to Boynton Beach High School in Boynton Beach, Florida for his last two years of high school football. During this time he was named the Lou Groza Palm Beach County High School Player of the Year. Jackson, who was also on the high school track team, graduated from Boynton Beach High School in 2014.

After graduating high school, Jackson was recruited by a number of universities to play football but decided to join the University of Louisville Cardinals football team. During his freshman year he led the Cardinals with a 7-5 record and Music City Bowl (Nashville) appearance where they defeated The Texas A&M Aggies. Jackson was named Music City Bowl Most Valuable Player.

During his sophomore year (2015), Jackson broke school records and was awarded the Walter Camp Award and the Maxwell Award as the best all-around player in college football. He also won the 2016 Heisman Trophy which made him the first Louisville Cardinal to receive this honor. During his junior year, he placed third in Heisman voting behind Baker Mayfield and Bryce Love. Jackson was also named ACC Athlete of the Year.

Jackson decided to forgo his senior year in college and enter the 2018 NFL Draft. He was drafted at the age of 21 by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round with the 32nd overall pick. During his rookie year, Jackson was the backup quarterback to Joe Flacco but later in the season he became the starter after Flacco injured his hip. For the rest of the season, Jackson led the Ravens to two victories ending with a 10-6 record and winning the AFC North to clinch a playoff berth. Jackson and Ravens lost in the NFL wild card round to the Los Angeles (California) Chargers.

The 2019 NFL season proved to be the best of his young career. Jackson made a Pro-Bowl appearance and was selected First-Team All-Pro, the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, and NFL Passing touchdown leader. Jackson led the Ravens with an NFL best regular season record of 14-2 and clinched the NFC North for a second straight season. Despite the regular season success, Jackson and the Ravens was upset by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the 2019 NFL playoffs. Despite the loss, Jackson continue to be active in the NFL as of 2020. Jackson is currently single and has no children.

In late November 2020, Lamar Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 and went into a Ravens-mandated quarantine.