This weekend, University of Louisville alumni Lamar Jackson and Teddy Bridgewater received keys to the city where they played college football. Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback, and Bridgewater, the Miami Dolphins quarterback, where honored by Mayor Greg Fischer, who presented the two signal-callers, along with NBA‘s Rajon Rondo, a Louisville native, keys to the city.
The athletes were in town for the Derby City Reunion Weekend at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center, which allows kids ages 5-17 the opportunity to meet the players and learn about a healthy lifestyle.
Jackson, the Heisman Trophy winner and the only Louisville Cardinal to ever win the award, spoke about how it feels to make an impact on the next generation, saying:
“We know how the west end feels about us and all the kids that are less fortunate and stuff like that in the city. They’re looking up to us and seeing the things we’re doing out there on the field and in the community, it feels amazing … It’s really an overwhelming feeling. Seeing their faces light up, they’re yelling at us, ‘you made my day, you made my year.’ Stuff like that is touching to us.”
Bridgewater was also grateful to be able to come back to where it started for him and see how he can make a difference.
“To be where I am today and to be able to come back and be part of an event like this where it’s not only about putting a smile on people’s face but to also educate them,” he said.
The 2013 Sugar Bowl champion and MVP continued, “It’s a great feeling coming back here, six years later seeing this facility, it’s all about giving resources to the community. This is another resource for the community. There’s going to be another Lamar Jackson, Teddy Bridgewater … come out of Louisville, that will use this facility, that had this resource.”
Both Louisville quarterbacks and former first round picks thank the Cardinals program for helping them get where they are today, and Bridgewater and Jackson are able to share a bond as two of the most successful athletes to come from the school.
“I’m a fan of [Lamar’s] and he’s a fan of mine,” Bridgewater said.
Jackson says Bridgewater is a “big reason” he committed to Louisville and says he can reach out to Bridgewater any time.
Bridgewater says he hopes they can do something like this every year.