Just because Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is getting praise from Kid Cudi, Tom Brady, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and countless others doesn’t mean he’s forgetting about the people who helped him along the way.
Nathan White, Burrow’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Athens High School who is now the Bulldogs’ head coach, told USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg that Burrow called to invite him and his wife to Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium, which they plan to attend.
“Joe called Sunday and said he had a couple tickets, so my wife and I are going to go,” White said. “We’re excited.”
White provided additional context to ESPN’s Michele Steele.
“(White) was sitting around the house yesterday. He looks at his cell phone – he sees it’s Joe Burrow calling,” Steele said. “And he’s excited just to check in with one of his former guys. And Burrow tells him, ‘Hey Coach, I don’t know if you’re busy next weekend. But I’ve got a couple extra tickets to the Super Bowl for you and your wife if you want to go.’ And the coach said – as you can imagine – ‘I think I can make that work.’
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From @MicheleSteele via Twitter:
Joe Burrow is in the middle of the most intense week of his professional life – yet he found the time to call one of his HS coaches from Athens yesterday to make sure he’ll be in the stands at #SBLVI when his former player takes the field: pic.twitter.com/5VO2ZZ1A0y
How talented was Burrow as an all-around athlete before and during high school? Burrow’s dad, Jimmy, the long-time defensive coordinator of the Ohio Bobcats, told NBC Sports’ Peter King that he might’ve played in the NBA if he’d stuck with basketball, and added that he regrets that Joe stopped playing baseball when he did.
From King’s “Football Morning in America”:
He was busy playing three sports, something his father is bullish on for young athletes. “I never wanted him to dread practice, in any sport,” Jimmy said. “He loved football, basketball and baseball. Turned out he played all of them through the eighth grade, and then there was just so much of a commitment going into high school in football and basketball—traveling all over the place for basketball. I do think if you asked him, he’d say his biggest regret growing up was not playing high school baseball. He was a pitcher and played shortstop, and all his friends played. But in all those sports, the competition is so good for a young kid. We loved that he loved them all.”
I wondered what sport Joe Burrow would have picked if he had to choose just one entering Athens High. Jimmy thought for a minute. He said basketball.
“He was a great 3-point shooter,” Jimmy said. “It wouldn’t be a shock to me today if he picked basketball that he’d be an off-guard in the NBA shooting threes. You saw at LSU that after he hadn’t picked up a basketball for two years how well he can shoot.” Prior to the LSU-Oklahoma national semifinal in 2019, players from each team shot threes against each other, and Burrow hit six straight.


By faress

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