Joe Burrow (Photo courtesy of LSU Sports)
Joe Burrow (Photo courtesy of LSU Sports)
For the first time in 60 years, an LSU Football player has staked his claim to the highest individual honor in collegiate sports, the Heisman Memorial Trophy. Senior quarterback Joe Burrow was announced as the 2019 winner at a ceremony at New York's PlayStation Theater on Saturday evening.

Burrow became the second player from LSU to win the award, joining late halfback Billy Cannon, who was announced as the winner on Dec. 1, 1959.

As a graduate transfer, Burrow signed to play his remaining two seasons of eligibility for LSU on the day Cannon passed away: May 20, 2018.

"I'd like to thank Louisiana, the entire state," Burrow said after thanking his teammates, family and coaches. "Just a kid from Ohio coming down chasing a dream. And the entire state has just welcomed me and my family with open arms, and invited us in to be native Louisianians. I've learned to love crawfish and gumbo.



"Coach O," Burrow continued, fighting back tears. "You have no idea what you mean to my family. I didn't play for three years. You took a chance on me, not knowing if I could play or not. And I'm forever grateful for you. Can you imagine a guy like Coach O gives the keys to his football program? It just means so much to me and my family."

The vote was a historic runaway.

With 841 first-place votes, Burrow set Heisman Trophy records for receiving the highest percentage of first-place votes in history (90.7 percent), broke O.J. Simpson's largest margin of victory (1,846 points), earned the highest percentage of possible points (93.8 percent) and the highest percentage of ballots received (95.5 percent).

Among national and league accolades already bestowed upon Burrow were AP National Player of the Year, Walter Camp Award (outstanding player of the year), Maxwell Award (collegiate player of the year), Davey O'Brien Award (nation's best college quarterback), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation's top quarterback), Walter Camp First-Team All-American and SEC Offensive Player of the Year (AP and Coaches).

On Dec. 9, Burrow was named one of four finalists for the 85th Heisman Trophy. He was voted the winner over Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young.

Awarded since 1935, "The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity," according to HeismanTrophy.com. "The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work."

Burrow, who turned 23 on Tuesday, was joined at the ceremony by members of his family including his parents Robin and Jimmy, brothers Dan and Jamie, and his grandparents. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, LSU Athletics Director Scott Woodward, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, along with several LSU Athletics senior administrators and members of the Athletics Communications team were joined by Bunnie Cannon representing the Cannon family, LSU Football assistants Steve Ensminger and Joe Brady, and quarterback analyst Jorge Munoz.

Burrow has re-written the LSU record book in 2019, establishing school records in just about every passing category including yards (4,715), touchdowns (48), yards per game (362.7), completions (342), total offense (5,004) and total offense per game (384.9).

Burrow, the 13th winner from Southeastern Conference, also set SEC records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season, becoming the only player in league history to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. With three more touchdown passes this season, he would become the third player in NCAA FBS history to throw more than 50 in a single season.

Known for his accuracy, composure, grit and leadership, Burrow is on pace to set NCAA records for single-season completion percentage (77.9) and pass efficiency rating (201.5).

"Thirteen-and-0," Joe Burrow responded in reference to LSU's 2019 team record when asked by Rece Davis on ESPN College GameDay about what's been most meaningful. "All the records are great, but I have great people and great coaches around me, and a lot of great players. I'm sure you see it on Saturdays. It's not just me out there. And, the cohesion between the coaches and the players is great. We have a great program going on right now."

In 13 games, the Athens, Ohio native has directed an LSU offense that scored a school-record 621 points, 47.8 points per game. The Tigers also scored 50 or more points a school-record six times in 2019 and LSU scored 40 points or more a record 10 times.

Burrow and the Tigers enter the College Football Playoffs ranked No. 1 in every major poll. LSU, winners of 14 straight games, will bring its 13-0 record into the CFP National Semifinal contest against No. 4 Oklahoma in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 28.

Burrow set the LSU single-game mark for passing touchdowns with six in the 66-38 win over Vanderbilt on Sept. 21. He holds the second- and third-highest passing yards games in LSU history, tossing for 471 yards and four TDs in a win over Texas during the second week of the season and 489 yards and five scores in the 58-37 win over Ole Miss in November.

Burrow has thrown for 300-yards or more in a school-record seven straight games heading into the Oklahoma contest and he holds the school-record for 300-yard passing games in a season with 11.

Dating to the 2018 season, Burrow has completed at least 20 passes in 16 consecutive games, also the longest streak of its kind in LSU history.

A two-year starter as a graduate transfer from Ohio State, Burrow has guided the Tigers to a 23-3 mark with nine wins against AP Top-10 opponents — most by any quarterback in school history.

LSU returns to practice on Monday, Dec. 16, in preparation for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.