Video: College football National Championship QBs as preps
Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence had stellar high school careers.
Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner for LSU, is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Lawrence, the sophomore sensation from Clemson, is slated to be the NFL's top pick the following year.
On Monday night, they'll go head-to-head in the 2020 National Championship college game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Though their skill sets are similar — big arms, big bodies, good runners, great decision makers — their paths to this point are largely different, especially as preps.
Lawrence was a 6-foot-6, 208-pound 5-star gem, the No. 1 national recruit from his 2018 recruiting class according to 247Sports. He threw for 3,290 yards his senior year with 41 touchdowns against one interception, earning first-team MaxPreps All-American honors for Cartersville (Ga.)
It finished off a brilliant, consistent four-year career that featured four straight seasons of passing for more than 3,000 yards. He finished 846-of-1,335 for 13,902 yards, 161 touchdowns and just 21 interceptions. Lawrence broke the Georgia state career passing yardage mark previously held by Deshaun Watson
and Cartersville went 51-5 with two state titles. He did lose his final prep game in the second round of the playoffs, a 21-17 upset loss to Blessed Trinity (Roswell) that still haunts him to this day.
Few have had such a celebrated prep career as Lawrence, but Burrow was no slouch at
Athens (The Plains, Ohio)
The 6-4, 200-pounder was ranked the eighth-best dual threat quarterback in the country from the Class of 2015 and No. 280 overall, after throwing for 4,445 yards and 63 touchdowns against two interceptions in his final season at Athens, earning him the 2014 Mr. Football Award in Ohio.
He finished with 11,416 career passing yards and 157 touchdowns, and like Lawrence, he lost his final prep game, a stunning 54-52 defeat in the final seconds to Central Catholic (Toledo).
Burrow also excelled on the hardwood, averaging 19.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game as a senior for the Bulldogs.
The plight of the two quarterbacks turned drastically after that. Burrow signed at Ohio State but after a redshirt season and two years backing up J.T. Barrett
, he transferred to LSU where he has emerged as college football's top player. This season he's completed 77 percent of his 478 passes for 5,208 yards and 55 touchdowns, while rushing for 779 yards and 12 more scores.
Lawrence hit the ground running at Clemson, leading the Tigers to a national championship last season as true freshman, earning MVP honors in a 44-16 win over Alabama. This season, he's thrown for 3,431 yards and 36 touchdowns, while rushing for 514 more yards and eight scores.
This is the first time Burrow and Lawrence have clashed as starters at any level.