Joe Burrow stayed loyal to teammates after Ohio State commitment

Joe Burrow didn't win the staring quarterback job at Ohio State, but won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship at LSU. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow didn't win the staring quarterback job at Ohio State, but won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship at LSU. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Joe Burrow knew he wasn’t playing college basketball, but remained loyal to his high school teammates even after committing to Ohio State.

Joe Burrow was a great teammate before he arrived in Baton Rouge or Columbus for that matter.

Burrow had already committed to The Ohio State University to play football before his senior year. Though an excellent high school basketball player, he knew his future was in football and not on the hardwood. While that was the case, it didn’t stop him from being an incredible teammate heading into his senior year at Athens High School.

In Patrick Schmidt‘s “Pride of The Plains” feature for FanSided, Burrow’s high school basketball coach Jeff Skinner recounts the sacrifice the future Heisman Trophy winner made the summer heading into his senior year of high school.

“Going into his senior year, Urban Meyer wants him up there for every passing camp,” Skinner said. “Well, we had a pretty intense off-season for basketball and he never missed any of it. He had a passing camp at Ohio State one morning. I don’t know how many balls he threw in the heat of the day.”

“When it was over, he got in a car with his mom and drove from Columbus to Indianapolis because we had a basketball event. There was no way he was gonna let his guys down by not showing up. We were literally out in the middle of the floor getting ready to jump center and he’s running onto the floor tying up his shoes.”

Schmidt set up Skinner’s quote with this, “After Burrow committed to Ohio State for football, he didn’t turn his back on his teammates and coaches. He wasn’t going to be a college basketball player, but he didn’t want to give up the chance of being the best teammate and leader he could be in his final season. That loyalty and commitment weren’t lost on his teammates or his coach.”

But perhaps Burrow’s childhood best friend and football teammate Adam Luehrman encapsulates it the best, “He gave his all in his final season, even if it meant the potential of getting injured,” Luehrman said. “He battled it out till the end.”

For a guy who was really only playing the game of basketball for the love of it at that point, knowing that any sliver of a professional sports future would be as a football player and not as a hooper, it’s incredible that Burrow was willing to exhaust himself to that extent heading into his senior year. Then again, this is a testament for why teammates of his always go to war for the guy.

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Though it took half a decade later for Burrow to become a Heisman Trophy winner, his loyalty to his teammates was forged long before that. This is why he will be the first overall pick in this weekend’s 2020 NFL Draft. Burrow is a leader of men and one who the troops always tend to rally behind. The past is the best indicator for future success. Burrow has a bright future ahead of him.