It’s hard to imagine Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow as anything but a football player.

But did you know the former Heisman Trophy winner almost quit football in college?

It’s true.

Before Burrow was a star at LSU, he was buried on the depth chart at Ohio State for three seasons. And during that time in Columbus, Burrow thought that playing football at a professional level might not be in the cards for him.

“I was putting in the same work that I always put in and wasn’t playing,” said Burrow in a recent interview with Chris Simms. “Of course, there was self-doubt in that moment. I mean, when you don’t pay for three years, and you’re putting in the work and you feel like you’re practicing really well and you feel like you can go out there and make plays and do what you’ve always done but you’re not getting the opportunity to show what you can do, it’s frustrating.

“And there were times when I started updating that resume, thinking about being an investment banker, or something like that.”

Burrow Bengals
Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass against Clemson Tigers linebacker Isaiah Simmons (11) during the third quarter in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

I’m having a hard time imagining Burrow as an investment banker. But it sounds like Burrow wasn’t far from going down that road.

Fortunately for LSU and the Bengals, Burrow ended up on the right path — all he needed was an opportunity.

Burrow’s story — and the patience he displayed — is a great lesson for athletes who get frustrated when they don’t get playing time as a true freshman or a rookie. Sometimes, you just have to put in the work and wait your turn. Work hard and opportunities will present themselves.

Featured image via Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports