Joe Burrow Clemson national championship

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow speaks with an official before the College Football Playoff national championship game Monday night against Clemson at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

How about one more piece of hardware for Joe Burrow?

The LSU senior quarterback who led the Tigers to an undefeated national championship while compiling one of the best seasons in the sport’s history, was named the winner of the Manning Award Wednesday as the top quarterback in the country.

The award is presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and honors the Manning family, Archie, Peyton and Eli for their college football accomplishments.

Burrow, who has been back home in Ohio for the past week working out and meeting with agents before departing for Miami and the Super Bowl on Thursday, called the award “a huge honor because it is associated with the Manning name,” adding, “I’ve gotten to know the Manning family for the last year, and they’ve been incredible to me, Peyton texting me a couple of times and Archie checking in just about every week.

“That really meant a lot to me.”

Archie Manning said that game may have never seen a quarterback perform at the sustained level of excellence as Burrow did, especially against a schedule that featured seven teams ranked in the Top 10 when they played LSU.

“Week in and week out Joe played elite-level football while leading his to victory,” Manning said. “He simply didn’t have an off day all season long, which is amazing.

“And then, in the postseason he managed to take his game to another level.”

The Manning Award, voted on by a local and national media panel plus the Mannings themselves, is the only one which takes into consideration performances in bowl games. Burrow is the 13th of the 16 Manning winners whose team won its bowl game and the first to add winning the CFP Championship game as well.

But even without his efforts in the Tigers’ Peach Bowl victory against Oklahoma and the title game against Clemson — a combined 956 passing yards and 12 touchdown passes plus 79 rushing yards and two more TDs — Burrow would have been in a runaway winner of the award.

In fact, although the Sugar Bowl does not release voting totals, it can be pretty much assumed that Burrow is as close to a unanimous recipient as there has been in the 16-year history of the award.

Burrow’s final totals were indeed staggering.

He set an FBS record with 60 touchdown passes, led the nation in passing yards with 5,671 and narrowly missed setting the FBS record for completion percentage in season, 76.3% as he completed 402 of 527 passes.

Burrow’s 463 passing yards with five touchdowns plus one rushing score in the championship game capped a 15-0 season for the Tigers. Burrow was named offensive MVP of the 42-25 victory against Clemson which was played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Burrow is the second LSU quarterback to win the Manning Award, following JaMarcus Russell in 2006.

He is also the ninth Manning winner to also win the Heisman Trophy that season — joining Matt Leinart of Southern Cal (2004), Cam Newton of Auburn (2010), Robert Griffith III of Baylor (2011), Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M (2012), Jameis Winston of Florida State (2013), Marcus Mariota of Oregon (2014), and Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018), both of Oklahoma in that category. Tim Tebow of Florida won the Manning in 2008, the year after he’d won the Heisman.

Additionally, Burrow won the AP National Player of the Year award, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Award along with being a unanimous first-team All-America.

LSU’s national title makes Burrow the ninth Manning winner to lead his team to the BCS or CFP championship game and the first in the CFP era to win it all.

And, if all projections come true, Burrow will be the sixth Manning winner to go No. 1 in the NFL draft, following Russell, Winston, Newton, Murray and Mayfield.

Archie Manning said he could not recall a player’s draft stock rising so dramatically in one year as had Burrow’s.

“He’s just come so far,” he said. “Joe was certainly impressive in our camp last summer, and then when the bell went off in the fall, Joe and the rest of the LSU offense just got better week after week.

“He checks all of the boxes to be successful in the NFL. Joe has a terrific cerebral approach to the game, he’s obviously accurate and he’s got the good feet you need to be a mobile quarterback in the league these days.”

And no matter what happens in his NFL career, Burrow said he can’t imagine anything topping what he and the Tigers accomplished this season.

“That’s something nobody can ever take away from us,” he said. “What made it even more special was the way we were off the field had a big part in how good we were on it.

“We trusted each other, were best friends in the locker room and you could see it on the field. Everybody knew that the ball was going to be there and the O-line blocked hard for me.”

Sugar Bowl president Monique Morial pointed out that not only did Burrow lead LSU to the national championship, but the Tigers claimed it in New Orleans.

And now, Burrow will be returning to New Orleans to claim his Manning Award, on or around LSU’s Pro Day in March.

Burrow promised to make that so Wednesday.

“That will be the best time to do it,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting to get back down to New Orleans, see everybody and accept the award.

“I’ll be there.”


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