BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Athens, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Cincinnati, Ohio, all have one thing in common — former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
A book coming out on April 25 highlights Burrow’s journey from his hometown to Tiger Stadium and his first three years in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform.
The book, “From Bulldog to Bengal: The Joe Burrow Story Through the Eyes of His Hometown,” is around 350 pages long and focuses on the quarterback’s first 25 years. It includes interviews with Burrow, his Burrow’s parents — Robin and Jimmy — and “Joe’s childhood friends, teammates, teachers, coaches and other influences,” according to co-author Scott Burson.
Burson was born and raised in Athens, Ohio and went to the same high school as Burrow. Co-author Sam Smathers was Burrow’s coach from third through sixth grades and “has the second-largest Joe Burrow museum in the world, second only to Robin and Jimmy Burrow’s basement,” according to Burson. Smathers’ garage turned exhibit is called the “Dawg Pound.”
Smathers said it became known as LSU Tiger North during Burrow’s final season at LSU. As a coach, he saw early on that Burrow was different.
Smathers said, “As time went on I noticed how football savvy he was, and that he picked up on things quicker than other kids I had coached.”
The book chronicles Burrow’s early sports years and his time at Ohio State, his transfer to LSU and finally his current gig as quarterback of the Bengals.
According to Burson, the book dedicates four chapters to Burrow’s time at LSU and references to the university and Baton Rouge are sprinkled throughout the book.
“‘From Bulldog to Bengal’ not only details Joe’s connection to and affection for the state of Louisiana, but it also traces the connection between the people of Athens County and the people of Baton Rouge,” said Burson. “There’s a fascinating bond that has developed, all because of Joe Burrow.”
That bond includes LSU fans supporting the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund.
“The Joe Burrow story is a sacred story to the people of Athens County. And I believe I can say the same thing for the people of Baton Rouge. It is more than a football story. It is a story about relationships, community, hard work, hope and giving back. Joe embodies all of these things and he will never forget where he’s from and those who helped shape him along the way,” said Burson.
You can pre-order a copy of the book at Amazon.com or Orange Frazer Press.