Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has an incredible opportunity on his hands when his team heads into SoFo Stadium to battle the hometown Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 56 this Sunday. Becoming just the seventh second-year QB in NFL history to make the Super Bowl as the starter, the cool and confident face of the Bengals’ franchise has already become a superstar in the league and would add on to his legend with a win.
That legend, of course, began during his collegiate days at LSU.
Spending three years as a backup at Ohio State, Burrow transferred to LSU prior to the 2018 season and he ended up winning the starting job in fall camp over prized quarterback Myles Brennan. It took the senior from The Plains, OH, to find his footing in his first year in Baton Rouge, LA, but he ended up holding his own.
He led the Tigers to a 10-3 record, throwing for 2,894 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, and five interceptions through the air and added an additional 399 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Burrow finished the year by throwing for 394 yards and four touchdowns against UCF in the Peach Bowl and little did everyone outside of the LSU football facilities know, that performance was just the first signs of what was to come.
And what was to come was perhaps the greatest individual season for a college quarterback ever. Burrow experienced a supernova rise in 2019, winning the Heisman Trophy by completing 76.3% of his passes for 5,671 yards, and a then-record 60 passing touchdowns (since surpassed by Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe this past season). Culturally, he became a folk hero in the state of Louisiana, leading LSU to a perfect 15-0 record and a national championship in the process.
His spectacular 2019 season shot him up from a virtual unknown in draft circles to the top of the draft boards and he was selected No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Bengals. An everlasting image from Burrow’s college career was him smoking a cigar in the locker room after the 2020 College Football Playoff final. We could very well see that duplicated if Cincinnati pulls it off on Sunday.