No. 1 overall picks Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence and Bengals' Joe Burrow share bond with Urban Meyer

Trevor Lawrence is full of praise for Joe Burrow, ahead of the first matchup in the NFL between the two national championship-winning quarterbacks since 2009. (0:53).
Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow had their own unique paths to become No. 1, overall draft pick, and franchise quarterback.

Burrow rose from a mid-tier quarterback prospect to the top choice for the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft within four months.

Lawrence was, however, a star long before he attended Clemson. He lived up to his billing as one of the top prospects in the country, which was confirmed when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him first overall last April.

Urban Meyer, the Jaguars' coach, also has a relationship between the two quarterbacks. Meyer recruited Burrow from southeast Ohio to Ohio State, where he coached him for three seasons. Meyer retired from the Jaguars after a two-year stint as a coach and returned to coaching in 2021 knowing that he could draft Lawrence.

Burrow and Lawrence will face off in the NFL's first meeting. Each is trying to help a struggling team to succeed. Lawrence is now learning about Meyer's experiences at Ohio State.

Meyer is a great player, even if your No. Trust is a key component of Meyer's success. This requires you to be able to build trust.

Meyer saw Burrow as a 'competitivemaniac'.

Urban Meyer recruited Joe Burrow, Athens High School's QB, to Ohio State. He felt Burrow was "a little behind, but a competive maniac." Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

Meyer was in the middle of his seven-year Ohio State run that produced a.902 winning rate and one national championship when he began recruiting Burrow.

Burrow signed to Ohio State's 2015 signing group as a recruit. He had a few good offers, but nothing as important as the Buckeyes. Meyer's evaluation proved to be a positive one. Burrow, in his senior year of high school led Athens towards a state championship appearance. He was also named Ohio's Mr. Football.

Meyer knew Burrow was multisport athlete and needed to improve as a football player but he loved his determination.

Meyer stated that Meyer got his nose bleed in basketball during an NFL Network interview in 2019. Meyer said, "I'm big fan of that." He was a bit behind but a competitive maniac.

These traits became apparent almost as soon as Burrow arrived at Columbus. He was still behind J.T. Barrett was behind J.T. on the depth chart. However, others around Barrett could see his leadership skills as well as his desire to test himself.

"You could see how excited and fired up he was during those competitive environments," Mickey Marotti, Ohio State's strength coach, said. "I knew it right away. "Some guys don't behave like this after they graduate high school."

Meyer wanted to also test Burrow's mentality. Burrow later revealed to reporters that Meyer used to prod him early in his Ohio State career. Meyer said he looked like a Division II quarterback, or he couldn’t throw. This was one of many insults Meyer made about Burrow’s arm strength. Burrow did not understand Meyer's method at the time. He eventually figured it all out. Meyer wanted to know if Burrow could be trusted.

Burrow declined to give more details.

He earned his nickname through his competitiveness, which he displayed from the moment he enrolled at Ohio State. Meyer says Burrow has the most positive mental attitude Meyer has ever seen.

Meyer stated, "Even though he had some struggles early in his career the one thing you can depend on is that guy [is] a] tough-as nails competitor." Meyer said, "Refused any loss in the offseason."

Burrow was behind Barrett both 2016 and 2017. Burrow was a Buckeyes' backup quarterback in 2016 and 2017. He threw 39 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns, and appeared in 10 games.

Burrow reached his peak at Ohio State. Burrow was unable to serve as the team's top backup due to a broken hand he sustained just before the 2017 season. Dwayne Haskins was a teammate and the current Steelers quarterback. Haskins was a 2019 first-round selection. This gave him an advantage in the long-term battle against Burrow. Haskins won the long-term fight, which he eventually won with the job as the starting quarterback after Ohio State's 2018 spring camps.

Meyer stated, "It was close and clearly Dwayne beat out him out and Dwayne toss for 50 touchdowns."

Burrow transferred from LSU and set a number of records. He also had a 2019 campaign that was almost impossible to script: a Heisman trophy, a national championship, and the No. Burrow was the overall number one pick.

Burrow has been learning the NFL is not an easy sport since he joined Cincinnati. In his rookie season, he suffered a devastating knee injury that ended his season. He also had a difficult season against Chicago Bears when he threw three interceptions in a row in a 20-17 defeat.

Burrow, who scored three touchdowns in Week 3's win over Pittsburgh, stated that this game was an example of Meyer's lessons.

Burrow stated Sept. 15 that "it made me a better player and a more capable person. It also helped me to deal with weeks like this, where I throw three interceptions and lose the game." "I believe we're going back in a big manner, and [Meyer] really was one who pushed us to grow in that direction."

Meyer quit his Ohio State job in 2018 following a turbulent season, which included questions about Meyer's knowledge of domestic violence allegations against one of his assistant coaches. Meyer was a TV analyst for 2 seasons before joining the Jaguars.

Meyer stated that the Jaguars' No. Meyer said Meyer's decision to jump to the NFL was heavily influenced by the Jaguars' No.

This is because Trevor Lawrence was the No. Trevor Lawrence was the No. 1 pick.

Meyer calls Lawrence "one of the best" players Meyer has coached

Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars coach, said that QB Trevor Lawrence was "a remarkable kid." Everything about him is an A+. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Meyer, whether he was a generational prospect or not took the same approach to Lawrence in Jacksonville as he did at Florida State and Ohio State. He put him under pressure immediately to see what his response would be. Although he had an idea of what he would get, he wanted to be certain.

Meyer gave Lawrence alternate days to the first-team offense along with Gardner Minshew in order to give Lawrence the chance to win the starting job. Although Lawrence was clearly the best player in camp, he outplayed Minshew during the preseason's first two games. However, he accepted the challenge and stated that no one should be given a job.

Meyer finally named Lawrence the starter, on August 25. Three days later, Minshew was traded to Philadelphia by the Jaguars.

Meyer praised Lawrence's leadership, intangibles and work ethic. Meyer also praised Lawrence's support from teammates. I've had the privilege of coaching some elite, elite players and Lawrence is one of them. His handling of himself makes him an elite player.

Meyer understands that success in the NFL -- Meyer sees success as championships -- depends on having a great quarterback. The Jaguars' ability to get Lawrence was the best thing about their job. He didn't know much about the struggles of trying to win with a rookie quarterback, even one like Lawrence.

Meyer reached out to two quarterbacks he trusts to learn more about how to deal with a rookie in NFL. These were Alex Smith and Burrow, who both played for Meyer (Smith in Utah) and were the No. The No. 1 picks.

Meyer was advised by Burrow, who in 2020 led the NFL's dropbacks before he sustained a season-ending knee injury.

Meyer praised Burrow's advice, saying "Have Balance and not put a man in harm's path constantly."

The Jaguars seem to be finding that balance. Lawrence was fired twice in the first week, but Arizona fired him three times on Sunday. In the first two weeks of the season, the offense was heavy on the pass. However, the Cardinals were able to get the running game started with James Robinson.

Meyer is a proven coach who has developed college quarterbacks. He helped make Smith, Tim Tebow, and Dwayne Hakins first-round draft picks. But he was also able to recruit big-time talent year after year so that there were alternatives if the starter failed.

Jacksonville is clearly not the same. Lawrence is it. Meyer's success is tied to Lawrence's growth. It hasn’t had an ideal start.

Lawrence completed 54.2%, 669 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions in his three first games. Since the 1970 merger, he is the fourth quarterback to throw multiple interceptions in each one of his three games. He joins Troy Aikman (1989), Peyton Manning (1998) and Jim Zorn (1976).

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Lawrence is a strong player with a large arm. He's not afraid to take deep shots and squeeze balls in tight spaces. Although he has been able to get away with it, Meyer believes he should be more patient.

Lawrence also has to deal with all the issues rookie quarterbacks face: holding on too long, staring at receivers, and indecision.

Lawrence is still a good quarterback. His arm strength and poise allow him to throw some throws other QBs cannot. Don't forget Lawrence, who is 22 years old on Oct. 6, is the youngest starter quarterback in the league.

As they try to help one another grow in their first season as pros, this has led to some funny moments between his rookie NFL head coach and him.

"It's been a few times that he pulled me to one side, and he was like, 'Can this be true? This is very strange. This is amazing. Lawrence stated, "This is how they do things here," and similar comments. "I was like, 'Yeah. I don't understand. It's also my first time. It's always funny. But, I believe we are all still learning and growing.

Meyer believes Lawrence is now about the same place he was after three games.

"I love Trevor Lawrence. Meyer stated, "I love everything about him." Is he experiencing growth pains?" Meyer asked. This goes back to 20 years ago. The quarterback gets a lot more glory when you win, and a lot more fingers pointed at him when you lose. It's an offense. Every great quarterback has one thing in common: he has a great team around. We will provide that. Every great quarterback does. Right now, we are working to increase that.

"That kid is amazing to coach. He is a total A-plus.

The connection between Meyer, Lawrence, and Burrow is ongoing

Urban Meyer will tap into the Ohio State relationship he had with Joe Burrow (10), to help Trevor Lawrence, his rookie quarterback, succeed in 2021. Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence might not be aware of it, but Burrow is helping him navigate his rookie year. Meyer had multiple conversations with Burrow about Burrow's 2020 rookie season.

Burrow met his former Ohio State coach at several charity events this offseason. Meyer wanted to get Burrow's thoughts. Peyton Manning's Places Through interviews with former players, coaches, and key figures, Peyton Manning reaches the heart of football history as well as its cultural impact. You can watch ESPN+

Meyer stated, "I wanted to talk with a guy in that situation."

Burrow will face Meyer and Lawrence on Thursday. This is the latest quarterback Burrow hopes to challenge in his quest for success.

Lawrence and Burrow will be facing each other again, this won't be their first encounter. They met in the national championship match at the end 2019 season when Burrow and LSU defeated Lawrence and Clemson, 42-25.

Burrow hopes to lead the Bengals to their first playoff appearance since 2015. Lawrence wants to make a name for himself in the NFL.

This week's quarterback Lawrence can relate. Burrow was not happy with Meyer's decision to pick Burrow as his starter. This led to Meyer's departure from Ohio State. Marotti, the Buckeyes chief strength coach, said that Burrow's thumbprint allows him to enter the team facilities.

Meyer's trust in Burrow in the beginning led to a bond with him that will last a lifetime. Meyer will take on Burrow at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium as his new quarterback student.

Burrow spoke highly of Meyer, saying that they have a "great relationship". It's great to catch up with friends pregame.

"But it's also professional football and you have to win, so I'm excited for both of those."