LSU has had a fairy tale season to this point, going a perfect 13-0 en route to an SEC Championship and the top seed in the College Football Playoff.
The catalyst for LSU’s run this season has been quarterback Joe Burrow, who is the prohibitive favorite to take home the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in New York. Burrow, along with Broyles Award winning passing game coordinator Joe Brady, turned what has long been a middling, run-heavy offense into one of the best passing attacks in the nation. Burrow went 13 games of the season in a tough conference without even having so much as a bad game, and what he’s done in his second season in Baton Rouge since transferring in from Ohio State has been nothing short of spectacular.
How Burrow got from Ohio to Louisiana is fascinating in and of itself. When Ed Orgeron took over as head coach one of the biggest questions for him was whether he’d be willing to bring the LSU offense into the modern era of college football. As a defensive line coach by trade, Orgeron was smart and made the right hires on the offensive side of the ball, but his biggest attribute as a head coach is that he’s a tremendous recruiter. He had to find a quarterback and when Burrow came available on the transfer market, he brought him to Baton Rouge on a visit and made sure he got the full authentic experience, whether the restaurant they went to was prepared to do that or not, as Burrow recently recounted to reporters.
Joe Burrow said that during his recruitment, he went out to dinner with Ed Orgeron. When they got to the restaurant, Orgeron found out they didn’t serve crawfish. So Orgeron had the restaurant manager go out and get 15 lbs of crawfish and cook it for them anyway. That’s peak O.
— Hale Yes! (@ADavidHaleJoint) December 12, 2019
I love the visual of Coach O calling the restaurant manager over and telling him to go to the store around the corner to pick up 15 pounds of live crawfish so that he and Burrow could get down on a proper Baton Rouge meal. I’m sure this restaurant was, in some manner, a fairly high-brow establishment in an effort to impress Burrow, but that it didn’t serve crawfish was not going to fly for Orgeron. I think this could be a tremendous offseason television series for the SEC Network, where Coach O shows up, unnanounced at random restaurants in the Louisiana area, makes them go buy and cook crawfish, and then judges the meal they prepare.
Whatever the case, it worked and Burrow came to LSU and the pairing of he and Orgeron has led LSU to heights it hasn’t reached in nearly a decade. Atlanta restaurants just better be stocked with crawfish for when Coach O is in town for the semifinal later this month.