I really wanted to stay away from any Joe Burrow articles, but I appreciate him so much, I just wanted to write something. As you watch him in the National Championship game, whether you like LSU or not, appreciate – Joey.
First saw him play basketball in the district tournament his junior year. He could shoot the “3,” but he had a bad night, so he drove to the basket often. What I liked most was his leadership and take charge attitude.
His dad, Jimmy, and I had worked together a lot, because he was the DC at Ohio University. A proud dad, but a “modest dad.” I have tremendous respect for Jimmy Burrow.
The following fall I drove to The Plains to watch him play quarterback. Can’t remember the opponent, but I remember him throwing the ball all over the field. Also remember his throwing the ball long, long, and longer. I will say, he had a pair of twins as receivers that caught everything.
After the game, I spoke with him. Not real long, but I wanted to congratulate him. All 6’4 of him. At the time, I told him to find time to develop the “core” muscles. That was one of his few areas that he needed to improve on. I told college coaches that Joey was the top QB in Ohio. The best pocket type passer around.
What I did not like was his “over competitive” attitude on the sidelines. In fact, I mentioned it in an article that I wrote about him in the game.
If you watched the OHSAA State Championship against Toledo Central Catholic, there would have been NO question about his toughness and competitive attitude. Believe that he threw 7 touchdowns in the game. Not for sure how many. But Central Catholic beat him up. They pounded him on pass rushes over and over, and he kept coming back. Central Catholic Coach Greg Dempsey was so impressed.
Joe had some offers, but not the one that he really wanted. I forgot that he wanted Nebraska, but they said that he was not good enough. Some of his family still live in Nebraska. His dad played and coached at Nebraska. Oh well.
Finally, the offer came from Ohio State and Urban Meyer. He gave him some crap about changing some of the offense for Joey. Joey wanted to play at Ohio State, probably to prove that he could get it done there. He accepted the offer. Joey was now a Buckeye.
I remember when his dad texted me that ” Joey was going to commit to Ohio State. My words,” I am disappointed, but wish him well. I hope he does well.” I was disappointed because Joey was not an Urban Meyer quarterback. He would always be a “back-up.”
I will not bad mouth Urban Meyer on paper. Would not accomplish anything. Trust me- I know Urban Meyer.
The best thing that Urban Meyer did for Joey was to make his time at Ohio State so awful. He made Joey tougher and tougher. He made him drive himself, through a lot of frustration. Tougher because he was treated so unfairly as a quarterback at Ohio State.
The amazing thing. When asked by someone close to him, if he would do it over again, knowing what he knows now. His answer, “In a heart beat.” I repeat “in a heart beat. That is Joe Burrow.
Nothing would be accomplished, except Ohio State fans hating me, if I went into some things that happen at OSU practices. Or if I gave you some of the excuses that OSU coaches used about Joe’s throwing mechanics.
Two years ago, while Joe was still at Ohio State, I told his dad that “Joey has a better chance of making it in the NFL as a quarterback, than he does starting at QB for Ohio State. ” Now that is not “me chest bumping myself.” That is me telling you just how good Joey was, but in the wrong situation. Of course, I NEVER thought that he would be the number one draft choice in the NFL.
Joey is now Joe, and Joe will make some big bucks next year. Remember – ” In a heart beat.” All that he had been through at O-State, and he says, “In a heart beat!
Smile as you watch him play in the Championship Game. Joe Burrow is the poster boy for any young person who believes in himself/herself and continues to work hard to get to the “top of the mountain.” It is possible.