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Jackson leaving Louisville early

Lamar Jackson is leaving Louisville to enter the NFL draft, one season after becoming the youngest Heisman Trophy winner.

The 20-year-old junior quarterback tweeted Friday that he talked with his family before announcing the decision, which was confirmed by the school.

His decision was somewhat expected after he compiled some statistics that were better than those from his Heisman-winning numbers as a sophomore. He finished third in this year's vote.

Jackson thanked Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino, teammates and fans on Twitter. "It has been nothing short of an honor to be a member of #CardsNation and to play for this university."

Jackson, 6 feet 3 and 212 pounds, is a dynamic player, but it's uncertain where he'll be drafted. Despite accounting for 5,261 yards and 45 touchdowns — the second consecutive season in which he surpassed 1,500 yards rushing and 3,500 passing — questions remain about his accuracy and size.

The native of Pompano Beach led the Cardinals to three consecutive bowl games, though they lost their last two.

Fox Sports NFL analyst Charles Davis believes Jackson can play at the next level because of improved decision-making, along with his mobility.

"If we went back to 2016, I admit that I was not as bullish on his prospects as an NFL quarterback as I am now," Davis said recently. "What I saw in the last year reminds me of (Cowboys quarterback) Dak Prescott as a junior — minus the size because Dak is a bigger, thicker guy, and there's no getting around that.

"A lot of his big plays before occurred because of the run. This year I saw a better pocket presence, I saw better accuracy, better delivery. I've seen that improvement, that growth."

MORE DEPARTURES: Southern Cal tailback Ronald Jones will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. The speedy, durable Jones is fifth in school history with 3,619 yards while averaging 6.1 yards per carry, and he improved as a receiver. … Notre Dame running back Josh Adams will skip his senior season for the draft. He averaged 110 rushing yards per game this season and led the nation with seven runs of 60-plus yards. Dexter Williams now becomes the most experienced back for the Irish. … Wake Forest defensive back Jessie Bates will skip his final two seasons for the draft. … Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson and center James Daniels will leave early for the draft, and reserve quarterback Tyler Wiegers will transfer to Eastern Michigan.

GATORS ADD ASSISTANT: Christian Robinson, 27, became the seventh assistant from Mississippi State to join new UF coach Dan Mullen's staff. He played linebacker for Georgia from 2009-12, and is expected to coach linebackers for the Gators.

ARIZONA STATE: Todd White left San Diego State to join new Arizona State coach Herm Edwards' staff as cornerbacks coach and defensive passing game coordinator. He spent the past eight seasons as Aztecs cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator.

MISSOURI: Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley was named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He replaces Josh Heupel, who left last month to become UCF coach.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Interim offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon was named to the full-time job after helping the Gamecocks defeat Michigan in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.

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