A year ago, Lamar Jackson was the league's reigning AP NFL Most Valuable Player, an award voted on by media, and headed The Top 100 Players of 2020 list, an honor determined by his peers. In that same vein, he'd like his jersey number to reflect that position.
But first, the Ravens quarterback feels he must earn it.
"If we win the Super Bowl, I'm going to No. 1," Jackson recently said on the Ravens' team podcast "The Lounge". "I want the No. 1. That's my first number ever. My dad told me, 'Get No. 1 because that's the best. You're the best.' And it always stuck with me."
For now, Jackson is stuck with No. 8. He said it's what he was issued when he arrived at the University of Louisville, and his mother convinced him to keep it. The number has served him well. After winning the Heisman Trophy and a host of awards in college, the dual-threat star broke the NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback in 2019 (1,206) while throwing for a league-high 36 touchdowns during his MVP season.
More importantly, especially as it concerns his jersey-switching dreams, Jackson has led Baltimore to the playoffs in all three of his seasons. If last year was any indication, the Ravens are making progress toward the ultimate goal. Las season, the Ravens won their first postseason game in six years, which means it was the first of Jackson's career.
The ever-ambitious QB noted that one title won't even satisfy him.
"I want to retire No. 8 and No. 1," Jackson said. "I want to do that here at the Ravens. So, I want to win a Super Bowl with No. 8 on, do as much as I can with No. 8 on, then come back and do the same thing with 1 on."