Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has made a name for himself in the NFL for his ability to run the ball, but you shouldn’t sleep on the former Louisville quarterback’s throwing ability. In fact, there’s a tale going around that he was able to throw the ball a full 100 yards when he was in high school.
Is this story true? Did Jackson throw a football the full length of an NFL field before he even graduated high school? Let’s explore the story and look at his throwing stats in the NFL.
Lamar Jackson could throw the ball far as a kid
McNair Park in Pompano Beach, Florida, proudly calls itself the home of the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. Jackson played football in the park while growing up there. McNair Park was where an 8-year-old Jackson showcased his throwing ability by firing a football 20 yards on a line.
There were other talented kids in South Florida, but Jackson’s iron-willed mother wouldn’t let him ease up. She helped stoke a fire inside him to become the best football player he could be. Jackson practiced in McNair Park every Sunday afternoon from 2-6 p.m. throughout his childhood, hoping to make it to the NFL one day.
Did Jackson throw a ball 100 yards in high school?
The story goes that while he was in high school Jackson threw a football a distance of 100 yards, or the length of a regulation NFL field. While tossing around the ball with a friend, the future QG would test his arm strength by throwing the ball as far as he could.
Jackson recalls his friends encouraging him to throw the ball 90 yards, then 95 yards, and finally the full yards. He says he “just threw it high and as far as [he] could.” When he succeeded in all of those throws, Jackson says he was “shocked” but celebrated the feats.
Don’t expect to see him throw the ball from goal line to goal line with the Ravens, however. Jackson estimates he can throw the football about 70 yards nowadays. He likely doesn’t want to overextend his arm and risk injury now that he’s earning millions. The 22-year-old has a nine-figure contract extension on the horizon in the coming years.
How did Jackson do in his first NFL season as a full-time starter?
Now that he’s in the NFL, all of Jackson’s practicing as a youngster has paid off. In his first full season as the Ravens’ starting QB, he’s completed 66% of his passes for 3,127 yards, with 36 touchdowns and six interceptions in 15 games (after sitting out Week 17).
Jackson’s 36 touchdown passes are the most in the NFL this season. He also led all quarterbacks in touchdown percentage (minimum 14 attempts per game), throwing for a touchdown on 9% of his passes.
Leading the NFL in touchdown passes and touchdown percentage is even more impressive when you consider that what really separates Jackson from his peers is his ability to run the ball. He carried the ball 176 times for 1,206 yards this season, scoring seven rushing touchdowns.
The quarterback ran for an impressive 71 first downs, and his longest run went for 47 yards. Jackson’s 6.9 yards per rush average was the best in the NFL — among all positions, not just quarterbacks. (49ers RB Raheem Mostert, in second place, was nearly 1.5 yards behind him.). This shows that Jackson is truly a double-threat quarterback.