Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Joe Burrow Reveals He Almost Gave Up Football While at Ohio State

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Even the great ones can sometimes have doubts. Joe Burrow revealed to NBC Sports NFL Analyst Chris Simms that he considered quitting football during his time at Ohio State.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ star quarterback spent three years with the Buckeyes after committing there from high school. He was a four-star recruit out of Athens High School and won Ohio’s Mr. Football in 2014.

He redshirted as a freshman in 2015 – which is not surprising – but then was stuck behind J.T. Barrett on the depth chart in both 2016 and 2017. During those three seasons, Burrow appeared in only 10 total games and attempted 39 passes.

Going from high school star to almost no playing time in college for so long took its toll on Burrow, he shared with Simms.

“I was putting in the same work that I always put in and wasn’t playing. Of course there was self-doubt in that moment,” he said. “I mean, when you don’t pay for three years and you’re putting in the work. You feel like you’re practicing really well and you feel like you can go out there and make plays and do what you’ve always done. But you’re not getting the opportunity to show what you can do, it’s frustrating.”

Some really interesting insight here from Burrow. Not many athletes are able to be this introspective and honest with the public. We definitely appreciate him telling this story, because maybe it will help someone who is going through a tough time and doubting themselves – whether it be in sports or in life.

Joey B Could Have Ended Up on Wall Street

As a finance major, Joe Burrow was considering hanging up the pads for a suit and tie.

“There were times where I started updating that resume, thinking about being an investment banker, or something like that,” he admitted.

Of course, we know Burrow transferred to LSU instead of quitting football. And the rest is history.

In 2019 – his senior year with the Tigers – he helped lead the team to a perfect 15-0 record and a National Championship. Burrow had arguably the greatest season ever by a college quarterback, completing 76.3% of his passes for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns, compared to only six interceptions.

He was then selected No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Bengals, becoming their franchise cornerstone. In only his second season in the league, he helped lead Cincinnati to an AFC Championship and an appearance in the Super Bowl. The team lost a nail-biter, 23-20, against the Los Angeles Rams, just missing out on the team’s first championship.

In the span of four years, Burrow went from possibly quitting football to being considered one of the best quarterbacks in the world. Crazy how stuff like that works out.