Although the Louisville sophomore quarterback found it hard during his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech to find the words to express his mother's contributions, he has never been afraid to square up against her in practice.
DAN PATRICK:When that envelope was being opened, what were you thinking?
LAMAR JACKSON: My heart was pounding. I thought I caught a heart attack. I was in shock. When he [Heisman Trophy trustee Sanford Wurmfeld] said my name, I was like, You gotta call someone else up.
DP:How much did you prepare for your speech?
LJ: At first it was a prewritten speech. Then when I started reading it, I couldn't say the things that were on the paper.
DP:What was it like to have your mom [Felicia Jones] there?
LJ: It was a dream come true. I always wanted the spotlight on her. I wanted people to know all the hard work she [has put in with me].
DP:What came to mind when you're up there talking about your mom?
LJ: That I needed someone else up there to talk for me.
DP:You're not overwhelmed playing quarterback in front of 80,000 people, but you are when you're up there accepting the Heisman and talking about your mom?
LJ: It's different [in games]. You have a helmet on. You only have to talk to your teammates about the plays and the defenses that are coming.
DP:Could you have done better if you had your helmet on?
LJ: I probably could have. I probably would have been able to make some jokes.
DP:The story that got a lot of publicity is how your mom used to put the pads on and go out back and play against you.
LJ: She once saw me bullying my little brother, Jamar, and running him over, so she put his pads on and said, "Do it to me." So I said, "O.K., come on." I was up for the challenge. I ran the ball, and then she smacked me. [Laughs.]
DP:Is that the hardest you've been hit?
DP:Who did you hang out with after the Heisman ceremony?
LJ: [Clemson quarterback] Deshaun Watson came by the room. Make way for him because he's tremendous. Johnny Manziel came by. He was telling me a lot of positive things.
DP:Who is the quarterback that you admire the most?
LJ: Michael Vick. I always watched him growing up. I always looked at him and thought, "He's fast, he's electric."
DP:Is he faster than you?
LJ: Right now? I don't know. It depends on what we're running. He's getting kind of old.
Actor Kevin Costner told me that most sports movies, such as his 1988 film Bull Durham, aren't really about the games. "[Sports] are the backdrop," Costner said. "The best ones are about men and women and why they have to be together." ... Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talked about the one con of having his 20-year-old son, Brad, on the team. "He's got a tattoo across his chest," Calipari said. "Who did I hear from right away? His mom [Ellen] screaming, 'Tell him to take that off.'" ... Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson explained why he's passionate about bringing an NBA team back to Seattle: "I'll never forget the feeling when we won the Super Bowl [in 2014]. The connections it made to all different kinds of socioeconomic classes and races were special. We need that in basketball."