Joseph Lee Burrow (born December 10, 1996) is an American football quarterback for the LSU Tigers. Before transferring to LSU, Burrow began his collegiate career at Ohio State. In 2019, his second and final season with LSU, Burrow passed for over 5,600 yards and 60 touchdowns, the latter being the most in a single season in NCAA FBS history, while also leading LSU to victory in the 2020 National Championship Game. For his efforts that season, he won several awards and honors, including the Heisman Trophy. Several sportswriters deemed the season to be the greatest ever by a college quarterback.
Burrow in 2018
|LSU Tigers – No. 9|
|High school||Athens (The Plains, Ohio)|
|Born:||December 10, 1996|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||216 lb (98 kg)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Joseph Lee Burrow was born in Ames, Iowa, on December 10, 1996. He is the son of former University of Nebraska, NFL, and CFL player Jim Burrow, who went on to a coaching career that lasted nearly 40 years. The elder Burrow, whose last coaching position was defensive coordinator at Ohio University for more than a decade, retired after the 2018 season in part to be able to see all of Joe's games in his final college season. Burrow was born in Ames while his father was on the staff at Iowa State. According to a 2019 Sports Illustrated story, "The Burrow athletic lineage dates back nearly a century." In the 1940s, one of his grandmothers set a Mississippi state high school record with an 82-point game in basketball. His paternal grandfather played basketball at Mississippi State; his uncle, John Burrow, played football at Ole Miss; and two older brothers also played football at Nebraska.
He attended the 2002 Rose Bowl at age six as his father was an assistant coach for Nebraska. Not long after, he began playing in youth football leagues. Unlike his father, uncle, and brothers, who all played on defense, Burrow started out as a quarterback because his first youth team had no one else who could play the position. The Burrow family moved to Fargo, North Dakota, in 2003 when his father was hired as the defensive coordinator for the North Dakota State Bison. One day while visiting the office, future Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos commented that the seven year old had a future in football. The Burrows spent two years in Fargo before Jimmy accepted the defensive coordinator position at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Burrow attended Athens High School (2011–14) in The Plains, Ohio, leading the school to three straight playoff appearances and the school's first seven playoff victories in school history. During his career, he passed for 11,416 yards with 157 passing touchdowns and rushed for 2,067 yards with 27 rushing touchdowns. He was awarded the state's Mr. Football Award and Gatorade Player of the Year award as a senior in 2014. He and his Bulldog teammates went 14–1 that season. He was also a standout basketball player, and was named first-team all-state at point guard his senior year. Burrow was rated as a four-star football recruit, and was the eighth-highest ranked dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2015 according to the 247Sports Composite. He committed to Ohio State to play football on May 27, 2014.
In December 2019, the Athens City School District school board unanimously approved a measure to rename the school's football stadium in honor of Burrow.
After redshirting his first year at Ohio State in 2015, Burrow spent the next two years as a backup to J. T. Barrett. Over the two years, he played in 10 games, completing 29 of 39 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Realizing that Dwayne Haskins would be named starting quarterback at Ohio State, Burrow transferred to Louisiana State University (LSU) on May 20, 2018. Burrow had graduated from Ohio State in three years with a degree in consumer and family financial services, and would be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer.
In his first year at LSU, Burrow was named the starting quarterback as a redshirt junior in 2018. In an early season road trip to then-No. 7 Auburn, Burrow threw for 249 yards and a touchdown en route to a 22–21 win. He was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week following the victory. He again earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors following a 292-yard, three-touchdown performance against Ole Miss two weeks later. Burrow helped lead the Tigers to a 10–3 record, including a win over UCF in the Fiesta Bowl, and a No. 6 ranking in the final AP Poll. Burrow finished the season with 2,894 yards passing, 16 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He added 399 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns.
Burrow was again named LSU's starting quarterback heading into his redshirt senior season in 2019. In the Tigers' season opener against Georgia Southern, Burrow threw for 278 yards and five touchdowns in a 55–3 win, and was later named SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week (with Tua Tagovailoa). In a week two road trip to then-No. 9 Texas, Burrow threw for 471 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception in the 45–38 win. His 471 yards were the second most in school history and most since Rohan Davey's 528 against Alabama in 2001. He was named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week and SEC Offensive Player of the Week following the performance. Burrow earned his third SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors on September 21 during LSU's game against Vanderbilt. He threw for 398 yards and a school-record-setting six passing touchdowns in the Tigers' 66–38 win. He became the first LSU quarterback to ever throw for 350 yards in three consecutive games.
In a 42–6 win over Utah State, Burrow threw for 344 yards and five touchdowns, and became the first ever Tiger quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards in four consecutive games. The streak came to an end the next week against then-No. 7 Florida, but Burrow's 293 yards and three touchdown passes helped lead the Tigers to another win, 42–28. The next week, in LSU's seventh game of the season, Burrow eclipsed the LSU single-season passing touchdowns record of 28 when he added four more in a win against Mississippi State. Burrow led the Tigers to another top-ten win, and broke the LSU record for career 300-yard games (eight) with a 321-yard, two-total-touchdown performance against then-No. 9 Auburn.
LSU's November 9 game against Alabama was highly anticipated as the highest ranked showdown between the two schools since the 2012 BCS National Championship Game; LSU was ranked second and Alabama third in the season's inaugural College Football Playoff rankings released the week prior. The game would also feature two leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy in Burrow and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Burrow and the Tigers came away victorious in a 46–41 shootout. Burrow passed for 393 yards and three touchdowns in the game, and was again named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week and SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week, sharing the latter with teammate Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The following week against Ole Miss, Burrow threw for 489 yards and five touchdown passes, and passed LSU's single-season passing yards record set by Rohan Davey in 2001. He also set the LSU record of consecutive completed passes with 17 during the game. On November 30, Burrow helped LSU secure an undefeated regular season with a 50–7 blowout win over Texas A&M, throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns. During the game, he set the all-time SEC record for single-season passing yards (previously set by Kentucky's Tim Couch), and tied the conference record for single-season touchdowns of Missouri's Drew Lock. Burrow took sole possession of the SEC single-season touchdown record the following week in the SEC Championship Game, throwing for four TDs in LSU's dominant 37–10 win over Georgia that secured the Tigers' place in the College Football Playoff, and according to the Associated Press "finished off his likely Heisman Trophy coronation."
On December 14, 2019, Burrow received the 2019 Heisman Trophy, winning by the largest margin in the history of the award, also earning the highest share of possible points available, being picked first on the highest share of all ballots ever, and being picked in any spot on the highest share of all ballots ever. Burrow's Heisman acceptance speech, in which he referenced the rampant poverty and food insecurity affecting his hometown of Athens and The Plains, Ohio, inspired over $450,000 in donations towards the local food bank in Athens County from over 13,000 donors across the country.
In the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the 2019 Peach Bowl, Burrow recorded 29-of-39 pass attempts for 493 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns (all seven touchdowns in the first half), to go along with five rushes for 22 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in a 63–28 victory over fourth-ranked Oklahoma. In the 2020 National Championship Game against Clemson, Burrow threw for 463 yards with six total touchdowns, five passing, which led LSU to a 42–25 victory and him being named the game's offensive MVP. He finished his 2019 season with 60 passing touchdowns, which broke the single-season FBS record previously held by Colt Brennan in 2006 (58). His 5,671 passing yards ranks third all-time in an FBS season, tied with Case Keenum (2009). His passer rating of 202.0 for the season was also a record. Several sportswriters deemed the season to be the greatest ever by a college quarterback.
|Led the NCAA|
- "2018 Spring Commencement program" (PDF). OSU.edu. The Ohio State University. p. 73.
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- "Joe Burrow throws 4 TDs passes, No. 2 LSU routs MSU 36-13". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 19, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
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- "Burrow throws 5 TDs, No. 1 LSU beats Mississippi 58-37". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 16, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- "Burrow, No. 1 LSU dominate Texas A&M, 50-7". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 30, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
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- "Peach Bowl: Joe Burrow throws for seven touchdowns as No. 1 LSU routs No. 4 Oklahoma". Los Angeles Times. December 29, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
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- Hanson, Kevin (December 11, 2019). "2020 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah a Top-Five Pick to the Lions". Sports Illustrated.
- Trapasso, Chris. "2020 NFL Mock Draft: Panthers begin Matt Rhule era with a new quarterback, Patriots get a nice surprise". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
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