Report: Joe Burrow Earned LSU DB JaCoby Stevens' Respect After Fight at Practice

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and quarterback Joe Burrow, center, hold the trophy beside safety Grant Delpit after a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against Clemson, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. LSU won 42-25. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

It wasn't a game, particular throw or brilliant individual performance that helped quarterback Joe Burrow earn defensive back JaCoby Stevens' respect.

Rather, it was a fight in practice.

Brody Miller of The Athletic detailed a fight between the LSU offense and defense that started when Stevens knocked Burrow to the ground on a red-zone blitz after the quarterback was moving the ball down the field with ease for an extended period.

The eventual Heisman Trophy winner "instantly popped up and charged at Stevens, grabbing his face mask," which led to a brawl between almost the entire team.

"Joe didn't back down, and JaCoby, I think, respected him after that," a source who was present for the fight told Miller.

Miller noted a number of players highlighted the brawl as the moment they started truly respecting Burrow as a leader.

The quarterback transferred to LSU following three years as a backup at Ohio State. He was largely an unknown when he joined the Tigers and was solid but unspectacular during the 2018 campaign as the team went 9-3 during the regular season.

After throwing for 2,894 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first season at LSU, nobody could have expected what came next.

Burrow turned in one of the best single-season efforts in college football history, leading the Tigers to an SEC title and College Football Playoff national championship. He won the Heisman after throwing for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He shot up draft boards in the process, and the Cincinnati Bengals selected him No. 1 overall.

It likely won't take a team brawl for Burrow to earn the respect of his teammates at the pro level following the dominant finish to his collegiate career, but he has that type of experience just in case.