LSU Football: Joe Burrow wasn’t the popular choice among team to start in 2018

LSU football QB Joe Burrow (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
LSU football QB Joe Burrow (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

LSU football’s Joe Burrow wasn’t the popular choice among his teammates to start at quarterback in 2018.

Prior to the 2018 season, LSU football brought Joe Burrow in as a grad transfer to compete for the starting quarterback job.

Burrow immediately impressed Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron by putting his head down and going about his work on a daily basis.

The former Ohio State quarterback was smart, tough and gifted. And Coach O recognized it immediately.

The rest of the team, however, didn’t.

Well, most of them didn’t.

According to Jeffery Marx, via The Advocate, Burrow wasn’t the popular choice to start at quarterback among his teammates. Instead, most of the Tigers wanted redshirt junior Justin McMillan to start.

Some players did want Burrow, but Orgeron told Marx that most of the team wanted McMillan.

“There wasn’t a big Joe camp. There was a big Justin camp”, said Coach O to Marx.

Orgeron didn’t name a starter to the team, but McMillan could see that Burrow was getting more first team reps. As a result, McMillan left the team.

At that point, Orgeron had to deal with a rift that had emerged in the locker room. Some of the team wasn’t happy about McMillan not winning the job.

“There was a black cloud around here. There were a lot of rumors going on … and people taking sides”, explained Orgeron.

Coach O quickly called a meeting with the leaders on the team according to Marx. And when that meeting didn’t go very well, Orgeron pretty much told the team that his job was on the line and he was playing the best quarterback. And that quarterback was Burrow.

Eventually, there was a players only meeting which essentially concluded with Burrow saying “we have to be a team, because we’re going to win a lot of football games together”.

And oh man was he right.

The team put the drama behind them and went on a tear over the next seasons. LSU went 10-3 in 2018 before going 15-0 in 2019.

But if it wasn’t for Orgeron recognizing the tension surrounding the team prior to the 2018 season, who knows what happens. A team isn’t very good, regardless of the talent, if the whole team isn’t working toward the same goal. For a bit, it was clear that LSU wasn’t working toward the same goal.

Coach O, however, was able to change that.

dark. Next. Joe Burrow has always been an elite teammate

I guess that’s why he’s now a national championship winning coach. Not just any coach could’ve made that rift go away.