Athens’ QB Mr. Football

Published 1:47 am Thursday, December 4, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Joe Burrow has thrown 301 passes this season.

Yet he’s troubled by the only one that was intercepted.

“I’m very upset with that one,” said the Athens quarterback, who was announced Wednesday night as the 28th annual winner of the Ohio Associated Press Mr. Football award.

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A 6-foot-4, 210-pounder headed for Ohio State, Burrow has completed 223 of 301 passes (a 74 percent accuracy rate) for 3,967 yards and 57 touchdowns — and that one, lonely interception.

Now Burrow will come to his new hometown for the Division III state championship game on Thursday night against Toledo Central Catholic — sort of his debut at Ohio Stadium.

Burrow was selected in balloting by a statewide panel of sports writers.

His coach, Ryan Adams, has difficulty naming all the attributes that separate Burrow from other high school quarterbacks.

But eventually, it all comes down to one thing.

“One of the things that is always kind of in the back of your head as a football coach when you’re thinking about Joe Burrows is that you’re just glad he’s on your sideline,” Adams said. “You do not want him on the other sideline. Because you know he’s going to find a way to beat you. That’s what really makes him special.”

He comes from a football family. His father, Jimmy, is the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator/safeties coach at Ohio University and has been on staff for the past 12 years. His mother, Robin, is an elementary-school teacher and older brothers Jamie and Dan, like their father, played at Nebraska. The family came to Athens in 2005 so Jimmy could work under Frank Solich.

Last week Joe completed 32 of 44 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns — the last with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter — to provide the decisive points in a 34-31 victory over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the state semifinals.

Not that he wasn’t already, but Burrows is particularly popular this week in Athens — even among those kids who don’t follow the football team.

“Well, we’re getting out of school early on Thursday and then we’re getting a late start on Friday, so I think that shows how important this is to the community,” Burrow said. “(The students at the high school) are very proud of us for getting them out of school so they can go have some fun.”

Athens is currently just 14 points away from breaking the state record for scoring in a season (Clarksville Clinton-Massie, 802 points in 15 games in 2012).

“He sees so many pieces of the puzzle that have to be put into place when you’re a signal-caller of an offense like this,” said Adams. “We’ve got a lot of different things going on, a lot of different checkdowns and a lot of different reads. He’s so far beyond a typical high school quarterback in terms of knowing how to manage the offense. It all comes from having such a high football IQ and being such a student of the game.”

Burrow is the 28th annual winner of the AP Mr. Football award, the top individual prize for football players in the state.

Past winners include former major college and NFL players Charles Woodson, Robert Smith, Marc Edwards, Andy Katzenmoyer and Bob Hoying.

Burrow was selected in balloting by a statewide panel of sports writers.

Also considered for the award were Hubbard running back L.J. Scott (2,106 yardes rushing, 10.2 ypc, 30 TDs), Huber Heights Wayne quarterback D’Mitrik Trice (3,321 yards passing, 36 TDs with 10 interceptions), Cincinnati La Salle running back Jeremy Larkin (1,547 rushing yards, 8.1 per carry, 23 TDs), Perrysburg quarterback Gus Dimmerling (1,946 yards passing, 21 TDs, 4 interceptions for a 10-0 team), Norwalk running back Breck Turner (2,411 yards rushing, 30 TDs), Pickerington Central defensive lineman DaVon Hamilton (enforcer on a 10-0 team that allowed only 8.2 ppg), Gnadenhutten Indian Valley running back Jake Davis (2,003 yards rushing, 28 TDs), Dublin Coffman quarterback Gunnar Hoak (2,117 yards passing, 24 TDs, 7 interceptions for a 10-0 team) and Grafton Midview quarterback Dustin Crum (2,597 yards passing, 30 TDs, 6 interceptions).


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