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#CFBTop25: No. 9, Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

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  • By NFL.com
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AP Photo/John Raoux

Lamar Jackson took the college football world by storm in 2016, becoming the youngest player ever to win the Heisman Trophy.

An explosive dual threat, Jackson threw for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,571 yards and 21 scores (both ACC records). Comparisons to Mike Vick came rolling in soon after his hot start to the season, and Vick fully endorsed the buzz.

Now, Jackson returns as the most exciting player in CFB, and aims to become the second player in history to win the Heisman twice. For scouts with questions about how his game will translate to the next level, the 2017 campaign should offer more insight. Jackson will be under center more frequently in an offense more closely resembling a pro-style one, per Louisville coach Bobby Petrino.

Pulling back the curtain on the vote

Jackson received votes from all seven CFB 24/7 experts, including a No. 1 vote and two other top-3 votes. Two QBs finished ahead of him in the #CFBTop25 countdown.

CFB 24/7 is marking the days to the start of the 2017 season by counting down the top 25 players in college football.

What some of our analysts are saying about Jackson

"Jackson is the most athletic quarterback in college football. He has a burst that reminds me of Mike Vick. He's still a work in progress as a passer, but he has the ability to make every throw." -- Daniel Jeremiah

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"The ultimate weapon at quarterback as an electric athlete with A-plus arm talent. Jackson needs some refinement as a passer but his raw skills as a dual-threat playmaker remind scouts of a young Mike Vick." -- Bucky Brooks

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"The reigning and deserved Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson is as explosive a college QB as we've seen in a while. Has the arm to make all the throws, and the legs to shred defenses for huge plays. His numbers in 2016 were Madden-video-game-like. It will be fun to see what he does for an encore." -- Charles Davis

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"As an NFL draft prospect, Jackson's lack of size and accuracy can be a concern. However, his tape is filled with explosive plays on the ground and through the air. He displayed plenty of mental toughness last year." -- Lance Zierlein

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"Jackson's legs and whip arm give him a good shot at repeating as a Heisman winner, especially if he learns from his struggles at the end of last season." -- Chad Reuter

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"The reigning Heisman Trophy winner managed to account for 51 touchdowns last year despite pass protection that collapsed over the second half of the season. With more consistent play up front, he'll be even more unstoppable." -- Chase Goodbread

Where do fans rank Jackson?

We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Jackson received enough support to finish third in the voting (second among QBs to Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield). Of course, it's no surprise Jackson finished so high. While he hasn't received as much offseason buzz as some of his fellow QB prospects, he's one of the game's biggest stars.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.

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