Joe Burrow

Joey Burrow: Afterthought to Heisman

  • Heisman
  • Joe Burrow
  • LSU
By thejakewargo March 2, 2020 0 Comment
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It’s not often that somebody’s actual life turns out like it was written for a
Hollywood movie. But that is exactly what is currently happening for Joseph Lee Burrow.

Burrow was born into a football family. His father, Jimmy Burrow, played football at the University of Nebraska, before having a short stint in the NFL and CFL. He then went on to coach, primarily as a defensive coordinator. His coaching career lasted nearly four decades, with his last position being at Ohio University. But when his youngest son Joe was preparing for his final college football season, Jim decided to retire so that he was able to travel and watch every one of his son’s games, in person. Joe also has two older brothers, both of whom played football at Nebraska as well.

Despite his success this season, Burrow’s career did not get off to a glamorous start

After winning the Ohio Mr. Football and Ohio Gatorade player of the year awards his senior year, Burrow decided to attend THE Ohio State University. Once he arrived in Columbus for his freshman year, coach Urban Meyer decided to redshirt him. He then spent the next two years competing for playing time, unsuccessfully, with JT Barrett, Cardale Jones, and Dwayne Haskins. During his three seasons with the Buckeyes, in mostly mop up duty, Burrow threw for just under 300 yards and 2 TDs.

Heading into the 2018 season, with Dwayne Haskins seemingly guaranteed to start for the Buckeyes, Burrow decided to transfer from Ohio State. A trend that has become quite popular with major college football players. Three out of the four 2019 Heisman finalists, had all previously played for another big time program. Which just goes to show you, the situation that the player is in can make all the difference. This proved to be the case for Joe as well. Burrow has said that he really only ever considered three schools during his time in the transfer portal. North Carolina, Cincinnati, and LSU. Joe had seen fellow Ohio Mr. Football winner Mitchell Trubisky have success at Carolina and go on to be selected 2 nd overall in the NFL draft. But he also considered Ohio home, and liked the idea of remaining in-state at the University of Cincinnati.

But then he took a visit to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A place nearly 1000 miles away from where he grew up. It could have maybe been the crawfish, or maybe it was the tradition of winning that stretches across decades. Or perhaps it was playing in Death Valley, one of the most electric and intense atmospheres in college football. It could have also been Coach Orgeron. Known for simply loving football, and being beloved by his players. It also should be noted that safeties coach Bill Busch was heavily involved in the recruitment process. (Busch was also on Ohio States staff during Borrow’s tenure as a Buckeye) But whatever it was, Joe fell in love with LSU. He stepped out of his comfort zone, and headed down to SEC country with the hopes of winning a championship.

Joe has not been shy about explaining the importance Coach O has had on his
life

Joe has said that “Without Coach O, without him believing in me, who knows, I might have gone to Cincinnati and lost the job; I might have gone to North Carolina and lost the job and not be playing; Now we’re getting ready to make a run at this thing, the whole thing, and who knows what will happen with my career after this.” You can also see just how much love and respect there is between the Coach and his QB, during Burrow’s Heisman acceptance speech.

Joe Burrow has recently completed one of the best seasons in the history of college football for a
quarterback. He threw for over 5,000 yards and 55 TDs (the 2 nd most TDs thrown in CFB history) And then on January 13, 2020, capped his career off with a National Championship, LSU’s first title since 2007, and truly cemented his place amongst the legends of college football. He would also become just the 9th Quarterback to win the Heisman and a National Championship in the same season, and the first sine Jameis Winston in 2013 while at Florida State.

Looking Towards The NFL

The 2020 NFL draft will be held in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 23rd. And you can just about lock in Burrow as the #1 overall pick. And with the Bengals holding the first pick this year, he may finally get that chance to come back and play football in Ohio. Joe Burrow’s journey may have been a bumpy one. And at times, may have even seemed improbable. But through every twist and turn, every up and down, Burrow remained confident in his abilities. And he took a chance on himself. Even though his journey is far from over, it is already shaping up to have a Hollywood ending as well. And I can speak for myself, and every other football fan when I say, that we cannot wait to see it.

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