My series previewing the top 2020-21 college football prospects continues today with a look at a refreshingly strong tight-end group.
A former two-star recruit from Athens High School in Ohio now stands atop the college football world. His name is Joe Burrow.
The Joe Burrow story is to become legend. He’s someone who couldn’t get a game with Ohio State but is now most likely becoming the next No. 1 pick come NFL draft time.
Burrow’s college career started like that of many other hopeful college quarterbacks: sitting out their freshman year as a redshirt to watch and learn the offence of their team with the hope of getting a crack the following year.
But that crack at the starting quarterback role for the Ohio State Buckeyes never really came to be for Burrow. In his redshirt freshman and sophomore years he never got the opportunity or took the chance to shine. Come the preseason of his junior year, with the starting quarterback role up for grabs, Burrow and opposing Ohio quarterback Dwayne Haskins were set to battle it out for the starting job. As he realised he wasn’t going to win the starting job, he came to the conclusion that a change was needed, and he went to the route of transfer.
Enter the Louisiana State University Tigers.
His first year with LSU went smoothly, acting as a caretaker of the offence and leading the LSU Tigers to a respectable 9-3 record and also 11th in the national rankings.
But the moment that changed everything came in LSU’s Fiesta Bowl match against the University of Central Florida Knights. Nearing the end of the first quarter, LSU trailed 14-3 and needed something to spark their run. An infamous play in college football, Joe Burrow was sacked – hard. But, just as he’d done his whole life, he got back up. This moment of pure toughness encapsulated who Joe Burrow is as the person with the most heart on that field.
LSU wouldn’t look back that game and would win the Fiesta Bowl 40-32.
Burrow’s courageous efforts in the Fiesta Bowl would give LSU great hope entering the next season, and they went on to be the first team that season to beat seven top-ten-ranked teams, bringing about LSU’s second-ever undefeated season in the process.
There were many highlights headlined by Burrow and the LSU offence this season. The huge win over the Longhorns in Texas, beating Florida and Auburn at home, and possibly the season-defining win, beating arch-rivals Alabama in Alabama 46-41. This win solidified Joe Burrow a the Heisman Trophy winner and sparked LSU into the minds of every college football fan.
LSU’s season wouldn’t stop there. They beat Georgia in the SEC championship game and then later beat Oaklahoma in the national semi-final.
The final and most important game of Burrow and LSU’s history to date was their national championship game against reigning national champions Clemson Tigers. Trailing 17-7 early in the second quarter, LSU needed some of the classic Burrow magic, and that’s exactly what they got. Burrow and the LSU offence scored the next 21 points to lead the Clemson tigers 28-17 going into half-time.
Come the second half, nothing could stop LSU from winning the national championship, and the team would end up beating Clemson 42-25 in a monumental win. Burrow would take out the game’s offensive MVP with his stat line of 463 passing yards, five passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown, completing the perfect season: going undefeated, breaking the college football record for passing touchdowns and total touchdowns, winning the Heisman Trophy and, most importantly to Burrow, winning the national championship for LSU.
Now only the NFL awaits, as Burrow is most likely to become the No. 1 pick and selected by the Cincinnati Bengals. He’ll bring to the Bengals something they have craved: a franchise quarterback who has the unteachable will to win games when it counts most.
Joe Burrow has cemented his status as college football Legend, but this is only the beginning.