Joe Burrow is in the midst of one of the greatest individual seasons in college football history, not only shattering SEC single-season passing records but also leading the Tigers to the College Football Playoff championship.
Such seasons are few and far in between, but Burrow’s 2019 campaign is made even more outlandish considering LSU wasn’t even where he started his collegiate career. Moreover, LSU wasn’t even his favorite school when he announced his intent to transfer.
So how did Burrow end up at LSU, and where did he come from?
Sporting News has you covered on everything you need to know about Burrow and his career, including recruitment, first collegiate stop, eventual transfer and final stopping point in Baton Rouge:
MORE: Joe Burrow named SN’s Player of the Year in 2019
Where did Joe Burrow transfer from?
Joe Burrow transferred to LSU from Ohio State, where he was a member of the roster for three years from 2015-17. He redshirted there in 2015 before seeing limited time over 10 games across his redshirt-freshman and -sophomore seasons. He combined to complete 29 of 39 passes (74.3 percent) for 287 yards and two touchdowns to no interceptions. He also added 15 rushes for 53 yards and another score.
Why did Joe Burrow transfer from Ohio State?
Burrow, a four-star pro-style quarterback in the class of 2015 and Mr. Football in the state of Ohio (2014), transferred from Ohio State after failing to secure the starting position in any of his three seasons there.
He redshirted as a freshman in 2015, the year Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett split time at quarterback. Barrett took over the starting role when Burrow was a redshirt-freshman in 2016, and didn’t relinquish it in 2017. By that time, freshman Dwayne Haskins had moved ahead of Burrow on the depth chart, completing 40 of 57 passes for four touchdowns and one interception.
Once Barrett graduated from Ohio State after the 2017 season, the Buckeyes had a three-man race for quarterback among Burrow, Haskins and Tate Martell. Burrow, despite completing 15 of 22 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns — including one final pass in a Buckeyes uniform for a 42-yard score — was unable to secure the starting spot. That job went to Haskins, who would go on to complete 373 of 533 passes (70 percent) for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
But Burrow, who’d already graduated in just three years and who’d told reporters that “I came here to play,” decided he would graduate transfer from Columbus and spend his final two years of eligibility elsewhere.
Why did Joe Burrow pick LSU?
When Burrow left Ohio State, many wondered whether he would stay in the state of Ohio — particularly Cincinnati — or go to Nebraska, where his father Jimmy Burrow had played from 1974-75, as had brothers Jamie Burrow (1997-2001) and Dan Burrow (2004).
But Nebraska, according to reports, seemed uninterested in Burrow at best. Burrow, on the Dec. 7 episode of “College GameDay,” said Nebraska didn’t think he was good enough coming out of high school.
“I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough since recruiting. I had one offer after my junior year of high school, and it was my dad’s team (Ohio University),” Burrow said. “I wanted to go to Nebraska. They told me I wasn’t good enough. Ohio State was really my only big-time offer.”
That seemed to remain the case after Burrow transferred, as first-year Nebraska coach Scott Frost already had his quarterback of choice in Adrian Martinez. So when Burrow left Ohio State, his two main options were Cincinnati and LSU. Cincy was considered an early favorite because of Burrow’s relation to coach Luke Fickell, who was on Ohio State’s staff in 2015 and ’16 with Burrow.
But, according to a report from Sports Illustrated, LSU coach Ed Orgeron managed to lure Burrow away from favored Cincinnati over the course of a weekend in May in which he, Joe Burrow, father Jimmy and brother Dan talked football, including Joe Burrow’s future place in LSU. That, and a couple Cajun meals that featured boiled crawfish, helped Burrow make his decision in favor of LSU.
What is Joe Burrow’s college major?
According to Joe Burrow’s LSU roster page, he is studying for a master’s in liberal arts. He graduated from Ohio State after three seasons with a bachelor’s in consumer and family financial services.
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