When Joe Burrow and Drew Brees finally made their introductions, it was a meeting of the minds and a meeting of the "9s."
LSU's Heisman-winner and New Orleans' record-shattering quarterback had their long-awaited meeting Sunday at the Saints' practice facility in Metairie, documented through social media posts from the teams.
A clip of the meeting shows Burrow in a white LSU shirt tucked into purple shorts, standing in the middle of the Saints indoor practice field.
"You were my idol growing up," Burrow said as his team chimes in from off-camera. "I was a Saints fan because of you."
Brees responds: "That's amazing."
LSU was out at the facility in Metairie for a team practice the day ahead of a College Football Playoff Championship game against Clemson, which will kick off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday.
The meeting between the LSU star, who played out his record-setting season at Tiger Stadium about 70 miles up Interstate 10, became close to an inevitability after the Tigers decimated Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl to secure a spot in the title game in New Orleans.
Baylen rocking the Joe Burrow Jersey (9).— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) January 13, 2020
His brothers Bowen and Callen rocking the Baton Rouge native Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) and the New Orleans native Ja’Marr Chase (1).
The #LSU synergy is strong with the Brees family. https://t.co/5rndKpk43L
But the younger members of the Brees clan also got in on the action. Baylen Brees ran up to meet Burrow while wearing his No. 9 LSU jersey, with brothers Bowen and Callen donning the No. 22 jersey of Baton Rouge native Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and the No. 1 jersey of New Orleans native Ja'Marr Chase.
"I like that jersey," Burrow told Baylen after shaking the all three of the boys' hands.
Brees and Burrow have talked about one another all week.
The storyline took center stage in the days leading up to Burrow's Heisman Trophy victory in early December, when he told the media that he grew up idolizing Brees and a Saints fan despite growing up in Ohio.
Brees responded in kind, adding that he was a fan of his jersey number -- as it matches his own No. 9. The pair posed for a picture as they exchanged No. 9s.
“You want to root for guys like that, that have to travel that tough road, face some adversity and overcome it, and come out better on the other side. He’s been fun to watch," Brees said last month. "It’s fun to watch him operate in that offense.”
When Burrow went up on stage to collect the Maxwell Trophy, he was asked again about the QB connection.
Before each game Joe Burrow does the same thing to get focused. Sometimes it means he even loses consciousness.
"Growing up in Ohio, somehow I was a Saints fan and it was because of Drew Brees. I idolized him growing up," Burrow said. "I always watched every Saints game that I could when they were on TV in Ohio, and that just means so much to me."
And another message was tossed out Burrow's way from the Saints QB after his record-setting Heisman win.
"So well-deserved. Such a phenomenal season. It was so much fun to watch. So congrats, man, you deserve it and enjoy it," Brees said.
"But I know there's still work to be done. You guys have a great opportunity ahead of you. Stay focused. Keep your mind right. Keep your team together. Man, I know you deserve it, your team deserves it, Tiger Nation deserves it, South Louisiana deserves it, man. Take it one at a time. Let's go get it done. See ya, man."
LSU and Clemson kick off in the title game at 7 p.m. (CST) Monday in New Orleans (ESPN).
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