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Burrow's Heisman Speech Inspires Giving To Hometown Charity

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AP Photo/Jason Szenes
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Joe Burrow's Heisman Trophy acceptance speech has inspired more than $100,000 in donations to a food pantry in his southeastern Ohio hometown.
The effort started on Facebook on Sunday morning and had a balance of nearly $109,000 pledged to the Athens County Food Pantry, with many of the donations coming from Louisiana.

When the LSU quarterback accepted the award as college football's best player on Saturday, he talked about growing up in Athens, where his dad Jimmy was the defensive coordinator for Frank Solich at Ohio University from 2005-18.

''Coming from southeast Ohio it's a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average,'' Joe Burrow said Saturday night. ''There's 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 can be up here, too.''

Ohio graduate Will Drabold said he started the effort at about 11 a.m. Sunday. with a goal of $1,000. It quickly caught fire on social media and took off when donations started coming from Louisiana. The average donation has been $33.

At least two other efforts were started, one by his former
teammates at Athens High School, and Burrow retweeted the links to his more than 137,000 followers. The money is to serve the Athens County Food Bank, which serves 5,000 families in the country every year and served 9,000 meals every month.

Burrow graduated from Ohio State in three years. In 2018, with
Dwayne Haskins Jr., the apparent starter in the fall, Burrow took his final two years of eligibility to LSU.

After finishing strong for the Tigers in 2018, he broke out this season, setting a Southeastern Conference record with 48 touchdown passes and leading top-ranked LSU (13-0) to its first College Football Playoff appearance.

He won the Heisman in a record-breaking landslide, becoming the first LSU player to bring college football's most prestigious award back to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 60 years.