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'It's heartwarming to me': Louisville football retires Lamar Jackson's jersey number

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Lamar Jackson's jersey has officially been retired by the Louisville football program.

At halftime of the Cardinals' game against Syracuse, Jackson came to midfield for a ceremony honoring him just four years after he was playing on the same field.

The Heisman Trophy winner and NFL MVP will go down as arguably the best player to ever play at Louisville, but also one of the best quarterbacks in college football history. In three seasons, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards with 69 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. He also had 4,132 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns on the ground.

He's all over the Louisville record book as well.

"It means a lot to me, it's a lot of guys who were able to get their jersey retired not living, but I'm a young guy in my profession and still playing NFL football," Jackson said on the Bally Sports broadcast. "Getting my jersey retired as a Cardinal is amazing. I don't know what to say. It's heartwarming to me."

Lamar Jackson celebrates at midfield as his jersey number is officially retired Saturday afternoon at halftime of the U of L and Syracuse game. Nov. 13, 2021
Lamar Jackson celebrates at midfield as his jersey number is officially retired Saturday afternoon at halftime of the U of L and Syracuse game. Nov. 13, 2021

Saturday was a special day for the Florida native, who keeps close tabs on Louisville's program.

Jackson went through all of his memories in a speech from his first interception against Auburn to his Heisman Trophy win and beating Kentucky in 2017. He ended his speech thanking the Louisville fans for being with him throughout his career.

"I appreciate you guys so much, you’re with me every step of the way," Jackson said. "I wouldn’t have wanted to go to any other school. This is the best fan base in the nation.”

Louisville players Tyler Harrell and Henry Bryant will be allowed to finish the year wearing Jackson's No. 8, but will have to get a new number next year.

There will never be another No. 8 in Louisville history thanks to Lamar Jackson.

Cameron Teague Robinson CTeagueRob@gannett.com; Twitter: @cj_teague;

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Lamar Jackson's Louisville jersey number retired