Living up to excessive hype is never easy. For young men who aren’t even old enough to legally drink, it’s even harder to overcome the immense pressure associated with huge expectations. This is absolutely the case for college football stars who enter the upcoming season with what seems like the weight of the world resting on their shoulders.
Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner set the bar exceedingly high. Can he do better this year?
A highly touted safety missed the entire 2016 season and is expected to practically morph into the next iteration of the late, great Sean Taylor. Can he live up to the hype?
These are among the eight college football stars facing the most pressure in 2017.
1. Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Louisville
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) October 15, 2016
Despite slipping a bit late in the year, nobody could come close to matching what Jackson accomplished last season. He was an easy pick as the 2016 Heisman winner after racking up 5,114 yards from scrimmage and 51 total touchdowns.
Throughout the season, he had many signature Heisman moments, including this one.
Unfortunately, Jackson may have hit his peak one year too soon. There has only been one player in the history of college football to win the coveted award twice, and that man was Ohio State running back Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975).
Many NFL scouts wonder about Jackson as a viable NFL quarterback. He’s not exactly a prototypical pocket passer and often feels phantom pressure, which causes him to move outside the pocket.
Needless to say, Jackson is facing some serious pressure to not only prove he’s more than a one-year phenom but to also prove he can make big-time quarterback plays — reading the field from the pocket in the face of pressure to hit receivers in tight windows.
What the Louisville quarterback does this season will have significant bearing on his perceived future as a potential pro passer.