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09.08.2018 13:54
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Lamar Jackson doesnt mind being the center of attention on the football field. In fact, he seems to thrive when the spotlight is brightest.Off the field is a different story for the Louisville quarterback.He doesnt like talking about himself but as his impressive play continues to draw rave reviews he understands thats the price of fame.You just have to stay humble, Jackson said Monday on a conference call with local and national media. I just keep myself focused and try to prepare each week for our games.Jacksons early play and video-game like statistics have catapulted him into the Heisman Trophy conversation and the Cardinals to No. 3 in the Top 25. The stage gets even bigger this week with Saturdays Atlantic Coast Conference showdown between Louisville (4-0, 2-0 ACC) and fifth-ranked Clemson (4-0, 1-0).Hes done a nice job with it, coach Bobby Petrino said Monday of Jacksons handling of the spotlight. Weve tried to help him with that and get it to a place where he can handle more often what we ask him to do. ... Hes very mature with it. I think hes more comfortable talking and speaking, and well keep working with him on it.Hes already very comfortable on the field.Jackson has passed for 1,330 yards and 13 touchdowns -- including five against Marshall last Saturday -- and rushed for 526 yards and 12 TDs. Louisville is averaging nearly 64 points per contest thanks to these gaudy numbers that dont surprise those who know him best.Hes a freak athlete and he can fly, said Clemson starting linebacker Ben Boulware. They do a bunch of funky formations to mess with your eyes. They like to incorporate him in the run game a lot, so you have to have an extra hat at the ball now to defend him. I feel like the defenses have had a hard time adapting to that.He piled up statistics and TDs while leading Boynton Beach Community High School to the Florida state playoffs. Jackson even leapt over defenders in practice and a game until being penalized for it, to his and his coachs surprise.Heck, we didnt know about that rule, Boynton Beach coach Rick Swain quipped in a phone interview. The coach pointed out several changes in the 6-foot-3, 204-pound QBs game since hes been in college.Hes really improved as a passer, though he had a good, accurate arm in high school, Swain said. Recruiters saw the qualities he had at quarterback and interest really stepped up his senior year. I dont think anybody recruited with the idea that hed be anything but a quarterback.A major question was what type of quarterback Jackson would be under Petrino, whose preference has been pocket-type passers to execute his pro-style scheme. As he grooms Jackson to have more of a pocket presence, the quarterback has forced his coach expand the playbook to include more read-option and spread formations.Jacksons five-TD effort that dismantled FSU 63-20 drew praise from Michael Vick, who tweeted that Louisvilles signal caller is better than he was back at Virginia Tech. He lights up with every mention of the high compliment from his idol.Michael Vick is my favorite player, Jackson said of a group that includes Cam Newton and former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, another south Florida standout.Jacksons idolization of those players might explain why he has set a high bar for himself this season.He acknowledged relying on his athleticism and instincts during a freshman season in which Petrino played Jackson, Kyle Bolin and Reggie Bonnafon behind center. Jackson ended up setting school records for rushing yards by a QB for a season and career with 960, just over half of what he achieved throwing the ball (1,840).Jacksons focus on passing better has resulted in TD throws such as the 71-yarder to James Quick in stride for Louisvilles first score in Saturdays 59-28 rout of Marshall . He passed for five TDs and ran for two scores but finished with a completion rate just over 50 percent, which to him is unacceptable.I want 80 percent, 95 percent, Jackson joked. Thats just me.Louisville receiver Jaylen Smith said Jacksons sometimes-harsh assessment of his mistakes have helped keep his sudden success from going to his head. And with conference and national-title implications possibly riding on Saturdays game, being his own worst critic isnt a bad thing.He knows what he wants out of the offense and we agree with what he wants, Smith said. He wants to score on every possession. ... You would think that (hes hard on himself) with the way he grades himself, but thats just fuel to his fire.His approach has quelled concerns about distractions entering Jacksons latest measuring-stick game in Death Valley. Staying focused isnt easy considering hes on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated and has been mentioned as a Heisman lock if he continues piling up TDs.But in Jacksons world theres always room for growth, no matter how effortless he seems to make it look.Knowing my mistakes and being able to go back to fix them, Jackson said, that helps me out a lot.---AP Sports Writer Pete Iacobelli in Clemson, South Carolina contributed to this report.---AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org Wholesale NFL Jerseys . Durant finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Jackson matched his career high with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and Lamb scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, lifting the Thunder to a 94-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs 11-game winning streak. Wholesale Jerseys . -- The Sacramento Kings are set to become the first major professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin virtual currency for ticket and merchandise purchases. http://www.wholesalejerseyssundaynfl.com/ . -- Ken Appleby made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season to lead the Oshawa Generals to a 2-0 win over the Belleville Bulls on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action. Cheap Soccer Jerseys . Third-seeded Murray had the easiest path to victory on New Years Eve, barely breaking a sweat during his 6-0, 6-0 win over 2,129th-ranked Qatari wildcard recipient Mousa Shanan Zayed. Cheap NFL Jerseys China . The Brazilian goalkeeper signed a loan deal with the Major League Soccer club on Friday as he looks to get playing time ahead of this summers World Cup in his home country. LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sen. Charles Schumer, on the eve of the Summer Olympics, is calling on the House to follow his chambers lead and make the cash prizes won by U.S. medalists tax-exempt in future games.The New York Democrat, visiting the Winter Olympics training facility in Lake Placid on Tuesday, said the Internal Revenue Service shouldnt impose a victory tax on athletes who work hard training year-round.The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent in July before the current recess began. The House is scheduled to return Sept. 6, after the summer games in Brazil are over.The U.S. Olympic Committee pays $25,000 to gold medal winners, $15,000 for silver medalists and $10,000 for bronze. Athletes have to report the income on their federal tax returns.The bill would also exempt prizes for Paralympic athletes. The exemption would not apply to commercial endorsements.Our Olyympian and Paralympic athletes should be worried about breaking world records, not breaking the bank, when they earn a medal, Schumer said.ddddddddddddhile some athletes who represent the U.S. in the Olympics, like tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, also make millions of dollars as paid professionals, many other Olympians participate in more obscure and less lucrative sports.Schumer was accompanied by Andrew Weibrecht, a Lake Placid native and World Cup alpine skier who won bronze and silver medals, bobsled silver medalist Justin Olson and luge silver medalist Gordy Sheer.USA Luge chief executive Jim Leahy said the federal tax places a hardship on athletes and unfairly taxes them for representing the U.S. and reaching the top of their sports. 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