Joe Burrow’s high school coaches reflect and react to his success

THE PLAINS, Ohio (WTAP) – A lot of people are still impressed that Joe Burrow and the Bagels are heading to the Super Bowl, including Burrow’s former football coaches.

“There’s a little intervention on the device that you can’t explain,” Athens High School football head coach Nathan White said.

What White can explain is how good Joe Burrow was even in high school.

“I have no doubt I could have come in during games and let Joe call him,” White said.

“He knew our attack very well. He really could have been our offensive coordinator as a quarterback. When you reach that level, especially in high school, it almost never happens that you can be really good.

And they were really good. Burrow led the team to the national final. But, as former head coach Ryan Adams said, it turned out to be one of Burrow’s worst days on the grill. The Bulldogs lost by just a few points.

“All the way, from that point on, it’s like he’s doubted his abilities, he’s doubted where he should be things like that. He’s overcome all these different things and all you can do is take your hat off to him and his parents for keeping his head up and helping him through all these different trials of adversity,” Adams said.

Burrow’s parents say helping him along the way, Burrow has always been a natural athlete and leader.

“A lot of his behavior is just his personality,” Joe’s father, Jimmy Burrow, said. “He’s always been pretty calm and cool in every sport he’s played and it really started with Coach Smathers in third year.”

And coach Sam Smathers agrees.

“He was never believed, even when we were down,” said Sam Smathers.

“He was never excited. Whatever we said was the play…it went well every time. It just seems like it went well. He would do what he had to do to make the game happen.

And that mentality stayed with him in high school.

“He was always looking to uplift people and take care of everyone. I think more importantly, just finding a way to be able to relate to a lot of different backgrounds,” Adams said.

“I guess, my feeling is that in a locker room full of millionaires, it helped him navigate his role as a quarterback on an NFL team.”

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