While many potential first-round picks chose suits and slacks for last night’s first-ever virtual NFL Draft, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow went a different route with his on-air ensemble.
The Cincinnati Bengals with the first pick selected Burrow, who is fresh off a championship season at Louisiana State University. When the cameras switched to Burrow’s home in Ohio after the pick was announced, the 23-year-old appeared calm and collected, sitting on his couch with his mom and dad.
Notably, the star athlete dressed down in black pants and a white long-sleeve T-shirt branded with the unmissable Nike swoosh but also an outline of the state of Ohio and the numbers “740” written across the front. Burrow, in an on-air interview with ESPN after his pick was announced, explained that the numbers represent the area code of his hometown of Athens, Ohio.
In addition to his custom shirt, Burrow, who signed on as a Nike athlete after deciding to go pro, also shared a set of custom Air Max 90 sneakers on his Instagram stories before the draft. The low-top style featured yellow and gold accents inspired by LSU’s colors along with the words “Air Burreaux” emblazoned on the insole. Burreaux is a play on the football star’s last name inspired by the LSU motto “Geaux Tigers.”
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The quarterback has been expressive of his support for his home city and state throughout his time in the spotlight. As he accepted his Heisman Trophy last year in December, Burrow emotionally called the small town “a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average and there are so many people there that don’t have a lot and I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens county that go home to not a lot of food on the table hungry after school. You guys could be up here too.”
That speech resulted in a spike of donations to the Athens area food bank with over $150,000 in the weeks following coming in from across the world.