I hope Joe Burrow is doing what I would do if I were him and not what it looks like he’s doing as an elite college football recruit.
I’d applaud Burrow’s decision to visit Baton Rouge, La., if he were going because he’s always wanted to taste authentic etouffee or even if he thinks a Cajun accent is really cool and he just wants to hear people ask him, “Howsyamommaanem?”
If I were Burrow, I’d figure out where I wanted to go and visit there, then I’d also visit a few places I’d always wanted to see on someone else’s dime...like Hawaii, Boise State, Montana State and Maine.
I’d eat well, see the sights, play a little golf and then say, “Thanks for the great trip, but I’ll be playing next season at UCLA.”
That’s where Burrow ought to go if he doesn’t want to continue the family tradition of playing for Nebraska, like his dad and brothers.
Cincinnati, where Burrow visited on Thursday, would afford him the chance to start immediately and play for former OSU assistant Luke Fickell.
But would anyone in Cincinnati care? Coming from Ohio State, where everything OSU football is Page 1 news every day, Burrow would feel like he fell into football’s Witness Protection Program at UC, which ranks behind the Reds, Bengals, UC basketball, Xavier basketball and high school football in popularity. Maybe behind FC Cincinnati, too.
At Nebraska, Burrow would be going against a bunch of opponents he should know well after spending three seasons at OSU. Plus, he’d be playing for a coach, Scott Frost, who’s offense closely resembles the offense Burrow has been running at Ohio State.
Nebraska has three quarterback candidates, but none have taken a college snap yet. One is a true freshman early enrollee, another is a redshirt freshman and the third is a walk-on.
The Nebraska job is Burrow’s if he wants it, but maybe he doesn’t want it because he’d have to play at Ohio State on Nov. 3 and Nick Bosa has plans for him that day.
I don’t doubt that Burrow could win the job at LSU, where three QBs tried to establish themselves in the spring and failed. But why go to a place where offense has always been a struggle, and why play for a coach, Ed Ogeron, who’s a bad start in 2018 away from being a dead man walking?
Orgeron already fired the offensive coordinator he brought in to fix things last year. If he’ll dump a coach that quickly to save his own neck, Orgeron won’t be shy about yanking the rug from under Burrow if he’s a convenient scapegoat.
Burrow should look for a place where there’s coaching stability, with a guy who has a proven track record of putting quarterbacks into the NFL, with a system that suits Burrow’s skill set, where the job is his from the moment he walks in the door.
That place is UCLA.
Kelly’s system at Oregon is what the Ducks continued to use when Frost was their offensive coordinator and Marcus Mariotta won the Heisman Trophy.
Kelly’s QB coach with the 49ers was Ryan Day, who was Burrow’s QB coach at Ohio State, so the terminolgy of the playbook may be the same in Westwood as it is in Columbus.
There’s little danger of Burrow having to play his former teammates if he lands at UCLA, which puts players into the NFL every year.
What’s the game Burrow has to win at UCLA to be successful?
What’s the team Burrow just prepped to beat in his last game at OSU/
Oh, it was USC in the Cotton Bowl.
UCLA makes a ton of sense for Joe Burrow.
Unless Burrow is making the trip to Baton Rouge purely for culinary reasons.
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