It was a culture shock for Joe Burrow when he first got to college. As a high school quarterback in small town Athens, Ohio, he knew he'd have to get better but admitted adapting to the college game was a bigger wake up call during his time at Ohio State.
Fast forward to his LSU days and many in Baton Rouge know the stories of him immediately winning the team over through his competitive spirit. Burrow's two-year run as the LSU quarterback is unlike any other in this program's history, creating unforgettable memories for those who follow the Tigers closely.
Fast forward another couple of years and Burrow's career has put him in the spot where he's sitting in front of media members talking about his first trip to the Super Bowl. It's the trials and tribulations at Ohio State followed by the hard work and success at LSU that molded Burrow into a national championship, Heisman winning quarterback. In meeting with media members ahead of his first Super Bowl appearance, Burrow was asked what LSU and the state of Louisiana mean to him and his career.
"LSU means everything to me. They gave me this opportunity to put myself in this position to be talking to everybody today," Burrow said. "I wouldn't have had that opportunity if I hadn't gone down there and work really hard for what I got.
"The fans really embraced me as one of their own and I tried to do the best I could when I was there representing LSU and Louisiana in a very good way. I think the fans really appreciate when somebody from the outside really embraces their culture."
Come Super Bowl Sunday, Burrow will look to accomplish a feat very few ever have. He'll be the sixth quarterback who played college football in Louisiana to suit up in a Super Bowl and potentially accomplish something no quarterback ever has: win the Heisman, a national championship and the Super Bowl.
Not only could Burrow be the first but to do it in a three-year window would be a remarkable achievement. Burrow's early NFL success as well as his never ending admiration for his time at LSU is part of the reason why fans in Louisiana are so invested in his run to the Super Bowl.
Burrow has heard the stories of the popularity and impact the Bengals are having in this region and is very grateful to have that support.
"I've heard cool stories of people watching my game on cell phones in a basketball arena and nobody was really paying attention to the basketball game," Burrow said. "They were all watching the game on their cell phone and going crazy when we won. It means a lot to me the people in Baton Rouge are still supporting me the way they did when I played for them."