Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow might be the best and worst thing to ever happen to college football quarterbacks.
Burrow’s 2019 season at LSU was perhaps the greatest season we’ve ever seen from a quarterback. The Heisman Trophy winner passed for an incredible 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns (with only six interceptions) while leading the Tigers to a 15-0 season that was capped with a win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game.
The amazing 2019 season from Burrow, however, has led to quarterbacks who transfer to a new school facing immense pressure to be “the next Joe Burrow”.
Burrow spent three years at Ohio State before transferring to LSU ahead of the 2018 season. Now every time a transfer quarterback shows up at a new school and has a good offseason, he’s immediately compared to Burrow.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers is the latest player to receive this treatment.
Ewers, like Burrow, originally signed with Ohio State. The former five-star recruit transferred from Ohio State after his true freshman season in 2021 and landed with the Longhorns (Ewers is from Southlake, TX).
After a strong spring game, Ewers is now being compared to Burrow.
That’s obviously not fair to Ewers.
Sure, the kid has the talent to be an incredible player for the Longhorns. Maybe he’ll be better than Burrow. It’s far too early to know.
But the odds are that Ewers will not rise to Burrow’s level. It’s not the physical talent that makes Burrow so great — it’s his ability to lead, his authentic confidence, and his ability to rally those around him that makes him an elite quarterback.
I don’t know if Ewers has those traits or not. We haven’t seen enough of him to know (it took Burrow five seasons in college football to become the Joe Burrow we know today). Either way, it’s not fair to compare young transfer quarterbacks to Burrow. Ewers could lead Texas to their first 10-win season since 2018 while throwing for over 4,000 yards and he’d still fall far short of the standard that Burrow set.
We need to let these kids live their own stories and stop trying to turn them into a player they aren’t.
Ewers isn’t Burrow. And the same time, Burrow isn’t Ewers. Let Burrow be Burrow. No one needs to be compared to him.
Featured image via Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports