Joe Burrow surprises LSU professor with signed jersey, class tryout

CINCINNATI (WXIX) — A college professor who taught Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow now has two valuable items he gave to him as a thank you.

Dr. Leslie Blanchard of Louisiana State University’s Leadership Development Institute was one of Burrow’s professors while at LSU.

She says many LSU fans continued to support Burrow and Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, even after he left college and the school’s football team.

“We fell in love with these guys for what they’ve done for us here in Baton Rouge, and so following them, cheering them on and watching them grow is awesome,” Dr. Blanchard said.

She thinks Burrow learned a lot during her leadership studies.

“In addition to doing everything he could to advance his athleticism and ability to kick a football with precision, he also focused on creating team dynamics,” Dr Blanchard said.

After grading Burrow’s latest paper, Dr. Blanchard, impressed with her skills on and off the court, jokingly asked her to remember her if her success took her far.

“I texted him saying ‘hey look I want you to go ahead and sign this [essay]. I want you to send it back to me, who knows, maybe you’ll win the Heisman trophy. You could win the national championship. If you ever find yourself in a position where reporters and commentators brag about your leadership, I want to be able to tell people that I taught you that,” Dr. Blanchard said.

Once that championship football season was over, Dr. Blanchard says Burrow followed suit.

“Total surprise,” she said. “I got this box from UPS, Plains, Ohio, and picked it up, and the paper was in there, and a shirt he signed for me, which was really cool.”

Dr. Leslie Blanchard received a signed jersey from his former student, Joe Burrow, and a signed essay he wrote in his class at LSU.(Dr. Leslie Blanchard)

Dr. Blanchard admits she can’t take credit for Burrow’s natural talent, but she hopes his leadership lessons helped him lead his team to the Super Bowl.

“He was definitely born with something special, but he put in the work, and he put in the effort, and he put in the energy to take that gift and really take it to the next level to become the elite. and achieve greatness, and I can’t wait to see where that takes him,” she said.

Dr. Blanchard said the signed essay is now framed at her home and the signed LSU jersey is a prized possession.

She says she’ll be at a Bengals-themed bar in Louisiana on Sunday, cheering on Burrow and all the Cincinnati Bengals.

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