Joe Burrow – The Confident Underdog

Joe Burrow was always supposed to be a star, but it almost didn’t happen.

As a high school football player in Ohio, Joe won the state player of the year in 2014 and participated in the High School All-America game for the best high school players in the country. He was a touted recruit and decided to attend The Ohio State University.

At Ohio State, his first year was a redshirt year. Typically, a redshirt year is used for injuries, or to help incoming freshman adapt to the college mentality and football physicality. Developing a quarterback takes time, and a redshirt year allows for young quarterbacks to set their foundation.

Adversity for Joe Cool (borrowed nickname from Joe Montana) begins in his redshirt freshman season. He served as the team backup during the year to talented starting QB JT Barrett, biding his time and maintaining hope of becoming a future starter. Prior to his sophomore season, a broken hand prevented Joe from maintaining his position as the team backup. Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins and highly touted Tate Martell moved up on the depth chart.

Remember, this is Ohio State. Talent regularly comes in to compete for limited positions. Once healthy, Burrow was now the team’s third string QB. A talented, confident quarterback with Joe’s skillset had to be disappointed but he maintained his desire to start for the team.

During Ohio State’s spring game of 2018, an open competition between Haskins, Martel, and Burrow for the starting job occurred. Joe lost the starting job to Haskins and decided to transfer to LSU. At this point, it’s been three full years since Burrow last started a football game. LSU took a chance they would not regret. In 2018, Joe had a modest season throwing for nearly 2,900 yards and 16 touchdowns. The season was not a bad one, but also lower than expectations for a highly ranked recruit. What came next was unexpected.

In 2019, Joe Burrow had the best season of a college football quarterback. He threw for over 5,600 yards and 60 touchdowns. It was incredible. LSU went undefeated and played only three close games the entire year. At the end of the season, Joe won the Heisman Trophy award for college football’s best player. It was an amazing story with an unlikely rise.

Underdogs come in different shapes and sizes. Joe’s underdog story began with immense talent and potential. His journey included injuries, competitions lost, and unexpected obstacles. What makes this incredible is his self-belief. Unwavering self-belief that you are talented. Unwavering self-belief that you are able to overcome. Unwavering self-belief that you are good enough can lead people to truly remarkable things. Joe’s journey is reason for you to believe in yourself and continue to chase success.


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