Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson Thanks His 'Lord and Savior' Jesus Christ in Acceptance Speech

Lamar Jackson
Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) prepares to make a pass during the second quarter against the Boston College Eagles at Boston College at Alumni Stadium on Nov. 5, 2016 in Boston. |

University of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson wasted no time during his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech to give praise to his Lord and Savior.

The 19-year-old Jackson, who threw for over 30 touchdowns, ran for 21 touchdowns and amassed over 4,900 total yards for the Cardinals this season, became the youngest player ever to win college football's most prestigious award on Saturday night during the annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Gala in New York.

After taking a few seconds to corral his thoughts and pull out his prepared remarks, Jackson, who sported a large cross around his neck, immediately reminded the audience that they all have something to be thankful for.

"First and foremost, before I go further along in my speech, I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ," Jackson said. "Without Him, none of us would be here right now tonight."

"To the Heisman voters, I am truly honored and humbled to be the the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner," Jackson continued. "To be able to stand up here like all the other former Heisman Trophy winners, I'm extremely proud to represent this class and the University of Louisville with their first Heisman Trophy."

After winning the award and giving his acceptance speech, Jackson spoke at a press conference at the Marriott Marquis near Time Square, where he continued his praise of God.

"When I heard them say my name — there was five of us and I did not know which name he was going to call — some reason my chest just started pumping really hard, my heart started racing," Jackson, who set an Atlantic Coast Conference record with 51 total touchdowns in 2016, explained. "When I heard them say my name, just thank God."

Jackson's love for football was largely shaped by his mother, Felicia Jones, who first signed Jackson up to play football at the age of 8, even though he never really liked football.

According to an ESPN feature piece, Jones had to be both mother and father to her sons after their father died in a car accident when they were young. Her love for her boys was so strong that she even put on her own pads to practice football with Lamar and her younger son, Jamar, in the backyard of their Florida home.

Jackson's acceptance speech comes as many of the past Heisman Trophy winners have used their acceptance speeches to praise God.

Last December, 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, running back from the University of Alabama, also thanked God in his speech.

"First off, I just want to thank God for bringing me here and winning the prestigious award," Henry said during his acceptance speech. "He's been so good to me in my life and I have been honored and blessed with this opportunity. Since I was a kid, it has been my lifelong goal and a dream of mine. I am just so thankful."

In 2014, the Heisman Trophy was won by current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, who said in an interview with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes that he does everything to glorify God.

"When things start to get rough, you find comfort in your faith," Mariota said. "Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be OK. And you know you do it for (God's) glory. You do it for your teammates, your family, but also for his glory and to represent his name."

The 2013 Heisman Trophy was won by controversial quarterback Jameis Winston, who immediately thanked God in his acceptance speech.

In 2012, Johnny Manziel, another controversial quarterback, won the prestigious award for his play at Texas A&M. He also took time from his speech to thank the Lord.

"Most of all I want to thank God for allowing me to be here," Manziel said. "All that He's blessed me with in my entire life I'm so thankful for. For the love and the grace you have shown me, I'll be forever grateful."

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