Daily Sports Smile: Louisville announces Lamar Jackson's jersey retirement in heartwarming video

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 8, 2020.
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports Plus

Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson received a memorable surprise from the Louisville Cardinals this weekend. Jackson, who starred three seasons with the Cardinals, learned his No. 8 collegiate jersey will be retired by the program.

It is a major honor for the standout quarterback. Jackson was emotional after receiving a special video tribute from close friends, family and former coaches.

“That’s unreal,” Jackson said. “I can’t really put that in words. You usually hear about Johnny Unitas and those guys. That’s crazy. It happened so fast and I’m still alive to be able to see stuff like that. (To) be able to talk to those people still. You know who I was in the building with and people I was seeing every day.

“That’s crazy and touching right there. I ain’t going to cry on camera.”

Jackson initially thought he would meet with local media members. However, he was showered with touching messages from Cardinals head coach Scott Satterfield, linebacker C.J. Avery and quarterback Malik Cunningham among others. 

He also received kind words from family and friends. Jackson reflected on the moment as their stories resonated with him. 

“I just want to congratulate you on all the hard work and success that you earned,” Cunningham said. “It was an honor playing with you and I wish you nothing but the best.”

Louisville's Lamar Jackson is by far the best athlete and most dynamic player among the quarterbacks.

Jackson now joins Unitas as the only Louisville players to have retired numbers. The retired jersey is the latest honor Jackson’s received from the Cardinals. In August, Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra announced Jackson would be getting a statue outside of Cardinals Stadium.

In 38 career games at Louisville, Jackson threw for 9,043 yards, 69 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns.

His signature moment arrived in 2016. Jackson won the Heisman Memorial Trophy after leading Louisville to a 9-4 record and a place in the Citrus Bowl. The Cardinals averaged 42.5 points per game as one of the most prolific offenses that season.

Jackson will lead the Ravens against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday. Both teams are 4-1 and battling for AFC supremacy.