Joe Burrow College Career: The transformation from Bench Warmer to Heisman Trophy Winner

Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow will go down in history as the top draft pick at the 2020 NFL virtual draft. The Iowa born star achieved the honor on the back of a stupendous final collegiate season with the LSU Tigers, where he shattered many records. However, things were not as rosy for the Bengals quarterback when he was a college freshman and sophomore. 

A glance at his early college career stats after an impressive high school showing would lead many to regard Burrow’s position as a backup quarterback to be a criminal waste of promising talent. 

As the Athens High School quarterback, Burrow passed for 11,416 yards and registered 157 passing touchdowns. He made 670 completions from 977 attempts across three seasons. 

Like most modern quarterbacks, he offered a significant threat going forwards. Burrow rushed for 2,067 yards and scored 27 touchdowns. As a result, he landed offers from college sides all over and opted to sign with The Buckeyes. 

Joe Burrow at the Ohio State Buckeyes

Burrow red-shirted his freshman year in college and turned out at the Ohio Stadium in 2016. Here he featured as the backup to J. T. Barrett, who has never played in the NFL and went undrafted in the 2018 NFL draft. What an oversight by the Buckeyes! 

The freshman Burrow played in five games throughout the 2016 Big 10 season. In his limited opportunities, he made 22/28 passes at a 78.6% completion and had two passing touchdowns to his name. With 58 rushing yards, he ranked sixth when going forward and made one rushing touchdown. 

The next season, Burrow fell further in the pecking order as current Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins replaced him as Barrett‘s backup. 

As a third-choice quarterback, Burrow made just 11 passing attempts and amassed 61 passing yards. Incidentally, he shared a dressing room with a future No.2 NFL draft pick, Chase Young, for the campaign. 

The younger player, Haskins, grabbed his big break with both hands. He made a positive impression and kept his spot ahead of Burrow for the 2018 NCAA season.  

Seeing no breakthrough for regular football, Burrow departed Ohio State to secure game time and provide momentum to his college career. The transfer paid dividends and saw his stock skyrocket in the NCAA.

Joe Burrow dominates the NCAA with the LSU Tigers

Joe Burrow moved from the Big 10 to the SEC and turned out for Louisiana State University as the Tigers’ starting quarterback for 2018. He played in every game and completed 219 passes from 379 attempts for a 57.8% completion. When he turned out for his eleventh start of the season against the Rice Owls on November 17, 2018, he surpassed the total number of games he played as a substitute at Ohio State. 

View this post on Instagram

I saw an alligator the other day

A post shared by Joe Burrow (@joeyb_9) on

Joe Burrow threw 16 touchdown passes and a measly five interceptions in 2018. On the back of his performance, the LSU Tigers finished the regular season with a 9-3 SEC (West Division) record and earned a spot at the season’s Fiesta Bowl. 

Burrow’s performances may have led to The Buckeyes kicking themselves for not letting him prove himself. But, for the youngster, the best was yet to come as his 2018 season paled compared to his record-breaking senior year. 

Tom Brady: A Brief History of All his Super Bowl Victories

Children across the United States dream of taking up football and claiming Super Bowl glory as professionals. For many players, the chance to win a single ring in their career is the culmination of a lifelong dream. However, Tom Brady is no ordinary player, and his fans consider a season without a Super Bowl as an offseason. 

The former New England Patriots quarterback reached a record nine Super Bowls and won six. He claimed the Super Bowl MVP four times and had a 50% success rate in the AFC Championship game in 18 seasons as a starter.

Tom Brady

Brady holds many Super Bowl records which include most passing yards in a single game (505), most cumulative passing yards (2838), and most touchdown passes (18), most game pass attempts (62), and most career pass attempts (392).

He is the stuff of legends and will go down as a once in a lifetime player. We look at each of his Super Bowl appearances. 

Super Bowl XXXVI: Tom Brady wins his maiden Super Bowl 

New England Patriots finished rock bottom of the AFC East in 2000. Their season started horrendously when Drew Bledsoe sustained an injury. In retrospect, fans can view this as one of the all-time iconic moments in Patriots history as a future Hall of Famer, Tom Brady got his chance in the spotlight.

Under Brady, the team’s fortunes changed. They won 10 of their next 14 games, secured the top seed, and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVI.

New England started slowly and only got onto the board in the second quarter. This came in the form of a pick-six. Later, Tom Brady got into the act and hurled a touchdown pass to help New England head into halftime, 11 points to the good. 

Under Kurt Warner, the St. Louis Rams mounted a comeback with the teams tied at 17-17 heading into the dying seconds of regular time. Here, Brady displayed poise under pressure. He advanced with the threat of an interception looming large. 

The quarterback started over 80 yards away from the end zone. In the next 8 plays, he advanced 53 yards to get within field goal range. No Super Bowl had ever gone into overtime, and Adam Vinatieri had destiny at his right foot. 

The placekicker sent a huge 48-yard effort through the uprights at the Louisiana Superdome to clinch the Foxborough side’s first Super Bowl. 

Tom Brady completed 16/27 passes for a 59.25% completion rate. He threw one touchdown pass and helped his side advance for the crucial final field goal attempt. As a result, he got voted the Super Bowl MVP. 

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Tom Brady and The Patriots do an encore

Two years after his monumental win, Brady returned to the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers played a scoreless opening quarter and remained even right until 26:55. 

Tom Brady rushed 12 yards to earn a fresh set of downs and prolong the side’s sixth drive. Finally, he located wide receiver Deion Branch, who sprinted into the end zone and broke the deadlock.

167 seconds later, New England scored their second touchdown. The effort came after just 49 seconds after the Panthers responded with a touchdown. 

Tom Brady

The final 185 seconds of the half yielded a cumulative 24 points in the form of three touchdowns and a 50-yard field goal by the Carolina Panthers.

In the fourth quarter, The Panthers scored two touchdowns to take the lead but failed in the subsequent two-point attempt on both occasions. 

The New England Patriots had their backs to the wall with under three minutes left. Tom Brady made huge gains on the back of a 68-yard drive across 11 plays. On the play’s final down, he passed to linebacker Mike Vrabel for a one-yard touchdown. It was all or nothing for New England who opted for a two-point effort to go seven clear with 2:51 left. 

Now, Carolina had to score a touchdown and send the kick good just to tie the game. New England’s two-point gamble paid off as a point or a missed kick would have handed the initiative to the NFC champions.

The Panthers tied the game at 29-29 with a minute left. Following the template of two years ago, Brady remained cool under pressure in the final 60 seconds to advance 37 yards and get Vinatieri within range.

The kick flew through the uprights and New England clinched their second Super Bowl. Brady passed for 354 yards with a 66.6% passer completion and three touchdowns and clinched the game MVP. 

Super Bowl XXXIX: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots defend the Vincent Lombardi Trophy

No team has achieved this feat until the 2020 NFL season. The Patriots came close in 2018, but defending the trophy is very tough. The Philadelphia Eagles scored first at the home of Jacksonville Jaguars, but New England responded strongly through Tom Brady with touchdown passes on either side of halftime.

Tom Brady

New England faced adversity as The Eagles mounted a 10 play 74-yard drive to head to the final quarter level on points with the AFC Champions. 

Unlike their previous triumphs, New England wasn’t playing against the clock at Super Bowl XXXIX. They took the game out of reach with a touchdown early in the fourth courtesy of Corey Dillon. Five minutes later, The Patriots went 10 points clear with a 22-year field goal.