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USATSI

Louisville announced on Saturday that the football program will retire the No. 8 later this season in honor of former Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson, who played for the program from 2015-17 and won the 2016 Heisman Trophy. Jackson, now the starting QB of the Baltimore Ravens, will have his number retired during a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 13, when the Cardinals host Syracuse

Jackson was surprised with the news by his alma mater this week, who revealed the honor to him as he sat down for what he was led to believe was a meeting with reporters for a standard interview. 

"I can't believe that. That's crazy," Jackson said. "Y'all just made my day ... I feel like I won the Heisman again."

During his career at Louisville, Jackson became the youngest player to ever win the Heisman (19 years, 337 days) after a 2016 season where he gained a combined 5,114 yards as a passer and runner while scoring 51 total touchdowns. Jackson set or tied 42 different Louisville records during his time with the team and won both ACC Player of the Year and ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Jackson went on to be chosen by the Ravens with the No. 32 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and has since earned NFL MVP honors in 2019.

"We couldn't ask for a better representative of our football program. Lamar's influence goes far beyond our campus. He's got this entire city behind him every day, and we can't wait to welcome him home," Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said.

Jackson will become only the second player in Louisville history to have his number retired, joining the one-and-only Johnny Unitas. Unitas' No. 16 was posthumously retired by the program in 2003.