Joe Burrow’s legendary college story began with the most humble of beginnings as a backup quarterback for a major program.
After being redshirted for his true freshman year at Ohio State, he became the second-string quarterback behind J.T. Barrett and watched the team redshirt their newest quarterback recruit, Dwayne Haskins.
Burrow and Haskins would eventually be pitted against each other in a competition to be Barrett’s successor. Haskins recently talked about his battle versus Burrow on FOX’s Monday’s Ring Chronicles series, per 247Sports.
“I love Joe but during that battle, for almost two years, me and Joe couldn’t stand each other,” Haskins said. “Every day, whether it was morning workouts or when we had to do mat drills and it’d be me and him on the mat drill, it was gritty. Or it was practice and me and him are trying to get in front of each other to get a rep to throw to one of the starting receivers. It was always this heated competition but we knew we got the best out of each other. He made it hard for me and I made it hard for him and I didn’t let him take it away.”
To be the starting quarterback at a program that consistently competes for National Championships isn’t an opportunity to take lightly. Both quarterbacks were talented enough to win that job or start at another prominent program. While Haskins talks of a harsh relationship he shared with Burrow, it’s nothing too surprising considering the circumstances.
Burrow’s competitive drive has been well advertised in the months since his historic 2019 campaign concluded. The reason why Burrow even transferred to LSU in the first place is because he lost that competition to Haskins because he broke his hand in the 2017 offseason and fell to third-string because of it. Once that happened, it was an impossible task for him to jump Haskins on the 2018 depth chart, but Burrow still scrapped until Haskins came out on top.
And make no mistake, Haskins and Burrow aren’t enemies for life. If anything, their time together at OSU may’ve created a lifelong friendship.
“When he did leave we had conversations about where he wanted to go and he said he wanted to go to LSU,” Haskins recalled. “I said ‘do your thing. I believe in you.’ And we still talk to this day and I was very proud of him for what he did last year.”