There's no position in football to get right more than the quarterback. LSU has been able to remain one of the more prestigious programs over the last 20 years mainly because of the elite talent at all other positions.
But when Joe Burrow came to town, he completely changed the narrative on what to expect from the quarterback position in Baton Rouge. His two-year career with the Tigers was the stuff of legend, tossing for 8,565 yards, 76 touchdowns and 11 touchdowns and completing 68.5% of his passes.
Burrow's 2019 season alone was enough to solidify his position as one of the best college players in the last 20 years. He threw for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns and completed 76.3% of his passes in the process.
On Friday ESPN released its top 60 quarterbacks of the 2000s and Burrow came in at No. 5 of the rankings.
"His 2019 was good enough to stand up next to Cam Newton's 2010. There is no greater compliment than that," wrote ESPN's Bill Connelly.
Burrow came in behind Tim Tebow, Vince Young, Cam Newton and Baker Mayfield on the quarterback rankings but there is a case for Burrow being higher on the list. If the argument is taking longevity over impact then absolutely Tebow, Young and even Mayfield deserve to be high on the list.
Tebow was a three-year starter and a bonafide Heisman candidate in his final two seasons. Mayfield was a three-year starter who led Oklahoma to three straight New Year's Six bowls and while Young's stats maybe weren't what Mayfield or even Burrow's were, he was playing in an era where throwing the football wasn't a premium and did rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his final two seasons.
Young's 2005 national championship season, Newton's 2011 championship season and Burrow's 2019 championship season are regarded as some of the best individual seasons by a quarterback of all time. Statistically, all three seasons are in a similar boat as Newton and Young caught eyes with their legs while Burrow's passing was the most prolific we've ever seen in a single season.
What Burrow did for the perception of the quarterback position at LSU has changed the future of the position for the better. Just in the last two recruiting cycles, the Tigers have landed Garrett Nussmeier and Walker Howard, two elite level quarterbacks.
And now that LSU fans have seen a taste of what a high powered offense led by a great quarterback can do, there's no going back. That's thanks in large part to Burrow.
“I’ve never been around a player like Joe," Orgeron said. "Obviously he’s very talented and he’s a leader, but day in and day out, he’s the same guy. Very focused, focused on the task at hand. It’s about execution and winning and being great."