Some of the top quarterbacks in college football have a long and illustrious history of coming from the University of Louisville. The Cardinals have a lengthy history of productive quarterbacks, going all the way back to Johnny Unitas and Teddy Bridgewater. However, there was another great athlete who held the role before Lamar Jackson took over as Louisville’s main quarterback. Will Gardner was his name.
Will Gardner’s Louisville Career, Body Title
Georgia’s Will Gardner, a four-star recruit, decided to enroll at Louisville in 2013. After a redshirt rookie season, he only played sparingly in 2014. Gardner was named the starter in 2015 and put off a strong campaign, tossing for 2,739 yards and 22 touchdowns. He ran for 463 yards and five touchdowns as well. Gardner was on track to have an even stronger season in 2016, but sadly his knee injury in the opening game of the year ended his campaign.
Lamar Jackson’s Rise to Stardom, Body Title
Lamar Jackson replaced Gardner as Louisville’s starting quarterback following Gardner’s injury. Jackson, a highly anticipated recruit out of Florida, saw little action in 2014. He dominated college football in 2016 with 3,543 passing yards and 30 touchdowns along with 1,571 running yards and 21 scores. In 2016, Jackson went on to win the Heisman Trophy, and the Baltimore Ravens selected him in the 2018 draught.
Will Gardner was a gifted quarterback who started off at Louisville with a promising future before an unlucky injury halted his development. Lamar Jackson, one of the most explosive players in college football history, was able to replace him as the starter because of his injury. Gardner’s legacy at Louisville will last forever, and Jackson’s ascent to fame was made possible by his injury.