LSU Short Story
Surprising Tiger Fan Lands LSU's Best-Ever QB
Bud Johnson, LSU Alumni Magazine (Summer 2020)
When the Burrow family arrived on campus in May 2018 for Joe Burrow's recruiting weekend, LSU's coaching staff had no idea that there was a Tiger fan among them. Dan Burrow, Joe's brother, had found the true religion in 2010, rooting for the Tigers with his friends in Houston.
He would become a vital ally for Coach O in a recruiting mission that ranks among the most significant in LSU football history. "My best friend, Brian 'Gameday' Lamont, is a Tiger fan," Dan said, "and he invited me to an LSU Happy Hour in Houston. I liked the people, and soon I became knowledgeable about the Tigers."
"When Assistant Coach Bill Busch reached out to me, I think he did so because of our Nebraska connection, and the fact that he and my father, Jimmy, had known each other for years. I don't think he knew that LSU was my adopted team."
Nebraska, where Jimmy had played and coached, where his two oldest sons, Jamie and Dan had played, showed no interest in Joe coming out of high school. When he decided to leave Ohio State, Nebraska again rejected him. As the Burrow family interest in Nebraska diminished, it became easy for Dan to follow the Tigers with his Houston friends.
Dan had time to think about the possibilities of Joe playing at LSU on his drive to Baton Rouge for the family's recruiting visit. "I was familiar with LSU's problems at quarterback over the years," Burrow said. "I felt that Joe could help my unofficial team. I thought: THIS MIGHT BE POSSIBLE."

L-R: Dan Burrow, Joe Burrow, Brian "Gameday" Lamont
At no time during the visit did Dan talk with Joe about the possibilities, however.
The Joe Burrow recruiting weekend seemed to go well. Jimmy, a veteran college coach, was impressed by the hospitality and how well everything was organized.
The family oriented atmosphere and the closeness of the LSU staff had a positive impact on the Burrow family. Dan believed that Orgeron had made a good impression on Joe's mother, Robin.
But everyone in the family was leaving the decision to Joe. A three-hour meeting with Coach O and the offensive staff was aimed primarily at Joe. "It was an offensive meeting, dealing with reads and progressions," Dan recalled. "Joe was impressive. He not only answered all of their questions, he suggested audibles in several situations, which seemed to please the LSU offensive staff."
On the drive back to Houston Dan got a call from Coach O. "What do you think is best for Joe?" Orgeron asked. Dan told him that he thought LSU would be best, but he was going to let Joe make the decision.
"On Tuesday, I got another call from Coach O," Dan said. "He told me, 'man up' and tell Joe what you think.'"
Later, Dan sent Joe a text, asking him for an opportunity to discuss the recruitment. Joe responded by telling Dan that he would look forward to their conversation. At this point, Dan played a major role in his brother's decision. He emphasized that the Tigers were a perfect fit.
"Joe always told me he wanted to play football at the highest level and compete for a championship," Dan said. "So, I told him that LSU is definitely a higher level."
"LSU is your best choice," Dan told him. "If you go to Cincinnati, the media will always be asking questions about Ohio State. In Baton Rouge, they will ask you questions about SEC games. You have an opportunity to play at the highest level at LSU and compete for a championship."
Bill Busch and Coach O did some good work in pursuing Joe Burrow. And there is no question the Tigers needed a passer for their passing game. But Dan's closing argument was essential to clinching the deal. Nobody had as much credibility with Joe as his brother Dan. We all know Coach O can sell his product. What most of us didn't know is that he had the help of a sales pro who understood the feelings of a brother he loved.
Dan's comment about media questions on the Buckeyes had to resonate with Joe, who was eager to put the Ohio State experience in the rear view mirror.
No one knew how his brother felt better than Dan. He knew Joe wanted a fresh start. In a critical closing statement, Dan said the right thing at the right time. He even painted a word picture of what playing in Tiger Stadium might be like.
Joe was still noncommittal. A week passed. Then, Joe made a commitment to Coach Ed Orgeron. Joe arrived on campus a few weeks later to begin LSU's most exciting football journey ever.