Last season we saw three different quarterbacks take the field. Reggie Bonafon started against Auburn but never played under center after that. Kyle Bolin played well and started a few games as well as coming to relieve an at times erratic Lamar Jackson.
Of course, Action Jackson is the man who stole the job and will hold on tight to the starting position this season. Bolin and Jackson provided two different styles of play. Bolin is a more pro style passer and worked really well under center. Jackson is a more elusive, dual threat quarterback who made more plays with his feet than he did with his arm. Jackson, a true freshman last season, threw his first collegiate pass to the wrong team on a trick play to open the game against Auburn. After that he suffered some growing pains but each game he showed more and more improvement, which led to the talks of him being a Heisman dark horse. Bolin also showed a lot of promise last year and could play at many other major division 1 schools, but he maturely and graciously handed the keys to Lamar Jackson and accepted the backup role entering this season. In a small sample between the two quarterbacks, Lamar posted 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while Bolin posted 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Neither players numbers jump at you but the improvement shown each game is definitely comforting. Not to mention, Lamar rushed for 960 yards on 163 attempts to go with 11 rushing touchdowns.
As mentioned before, Lamar Jackson is earning very high praise by some and being overlooked by others. He’s poised for a Heisman type year with the weapons around him and the improvement of the offensive line. With Bolin serving as backup, I’m very confident in our guys under center. Lamar WILL have a huge year, in my mind there is no doubt. Anyone who watched the Music City Bowl and watched him join elite company with both 200 passing and rushing yards as a quarterback for only the 3rd time in bowl history (Vince Young and Johnny Manziel). We all know Lamar’s legs made plays last season because he admittedly only knew 30% of the plays. Now, he’s had a full offseason to master the playbook, he’s comfortable with his receivers, his line is more experienced, and he doesn’t have to wonder if he will be starting next week, factor all those into his development and we have a monster. He’ll be leading this team and I’m confident he’ll lead them in the right direction. His passing has improved, his knowledge has grown and his comfortability and confidence is through the roof, with that, no defense can prepare for this guy. This is the year of Lamar Jackson, and the weapons he has (not just talking about his legs) this offense will be explosive. The day is finally here Cards fans, the wait is over.