Few people paid attention to Joe Burrow when he showed up at Ohio State in the summer of 2015. Burrow, a skinny three-star quarterback recruit, wore Mickey Mouse T-shirts, SpongeBob pajama pants and often had a green tongue from his addiction to caramel apple lollipops. Burrow told his teammates that people watching at Walmart was a favorite pastime back in the Athens, Ohio, area where he grew up. He famously once declared to Tim Beck, the Buckeyes’ offense coordinator: “Coach, I’m growing a mullet.”
He joined a quarterback room at Ohio State in the summer of 2015 that doubled as a fishbowl, deemed the country’s most compelling position group a few minutes after Ohio State won the 2014 national title.