All eyes will be on future NFL superstar quarterback Joe Burrow on Thursday evening when the 2020 NFL Draft kicks off for its first-ever virtual ceremony. Before the pandemic spread of coronavirus changed life in America as we know it, the annual event was to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell making the big announcements on stage.
While Goodell will still be calling out the 2020 NFL Draft picks, he will be doing so from his home. And Burrow, former LSU quarterback, and reigning Heisman Trophy winner will be listening for his name while at his parents’ house in Athens, Ohio.
Burrow, 23, was born in Ames, Iowa, but his family moved to southeast Ohio when he was 9 years old, after his father, Jimmy Burrow, who played football at Nebraska, was hired Ohio University to be the Bobcats’ defensive coordinator. Jimmy coached there until retiring in 2019.
Despite their son’s fame, Robin and Jimmy don’t have any plans to move out of The Plains, which is located 78 miles from Columbus. “This is a very hardworking community, Robin told Fox 8. “It’s an old coal mining area, so that’s definitely in the culture around us. But I think, in general, that culture is where we feel comfortable.”
Burrow’s father added,” “You know, he understood what Athens county was all about and wanted to be a good representative of it with his character and his work ethic,” says Joe’s father, Jimmy Burrow.
Burrow Said He Was ‘Really Looking Forward To Walking That Stage’ In Las Vegas
While appearing on The Big Podcast with Shaq, “There’s definitely some disappointment,” Burrow said “I was really looking forward to walking that stage, walking that red carpet, hearing my name called. But I think being at home with my family is gonna be just as good. Being drafted is being drafted. I don’t really have any plans yet because I don’t really know what it’s gonna look like. Right now I’m planning on just sitting on my couch with my parents and watching it on TV, I guess.”
Burrow’s two half-brothers, Jamie and Dan, who both followed in their father’s footsteps to play football at Nebraska, are also expected to be around on NFL Draft Day.
Burrow Is Already a Hometown Hero In Athens, Ohio
While Burrow has already become a national star, whose fame will and legacy will only continue to exponentially grow once the 2020-2021 NFL season begins, he hasn’t forgotten about his hometown in Athens. Burrow started his football career at Athens High School, where he threw 157 touchdowns and over 11,000 yards. He was named Ohio’s Mr. Football.
After transferring from Ohio State to LSU, he became the first athlete from Southwest Ohio to win the Heisman Trophy. During his acceptance speech, Burrow talked about his hometown.
Burrow said, “Coming from southeast Ohio, the poverty rate is almost twice the national average. There are so many people there who don’t have a lot, and I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County who go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too.”
The quarterback’s words inspired action. Shortly afterward, Former Athens High graduate Will Drabold started a fundraiser for the Athens County Food Raiser which raised over $500,000 in one weekend.
Athens County Food Pantry President Karen Bright was floored by the response. She told the Beacon Journal:
I checked (on Monday) and there were donations from Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, and Ohio. What he said touched the hearts of so many people. It shows the kind of person he is. Beyond the fact that he’s been a real winner on the field, for him to use his platform and his voice to address such a huge problem in this country — this is not just in Athens. It’s out in California, in the desert in Arizona and the mountains in Wyoming. It’s across the board.