Help From the Heisman

Kaya Schultz, Editor in Chief

On December 14, four of the best college football players met in New York City at Manhattan’s PlayStation Theater in hopes of being rewarded with the 2019 heisman trophy. This is the most prestigious individual award in college football and the candidates did not disappoint. As usual, the majority of the candidates were quarterbacks. Among them was Joe Burrow from LSU, Justin Fields from Ohio State University, and Jalen Hurts from Oklahoma University. The fourth candidate was Chase Young, a ferocious defensive lineman from Ohio State. This was the first time that there were more than three candidates since 2016. 

Not to much surprise, Joe Burrow pulled away from the other candidates with 90.7% of the first-place votes. He was the front-runner for most of his dominant senior season. Burrow led LSU to an undefeated season while collecting 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns, along with the highest pass completion percentage in the nation (77.9). He also broke the single-season school record at LSU for passing touchdowns and yards while throwing just six interceptions.

Due to his phenomenal season and praise from fans all over the country, Burrow used this attention to call upon food insecurity in his hometown of Athens, Ohio. In his heisman speech he stated, “Coming from southeast Ohio, it’s a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average. 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.”

The country’s response to his speech was life-changing. It touched the hearts of Athens residents and left many in tears. Will Drabold, an Athens resident, took it upon himself to create a fundraising page on Facebook for the Athens County Food Pantry. Fans from all over the country selflessly contributed and about three days later, the Athens County Food Pantry had accumulated nearly $435,000 in donations. It is currently at $502,951. 

The Athens County Food Pantry was overwhelmed by all the donations. On their website they say, “This is very new to us. We have never received an outpouring of financial support of this magnitude. We seek to be careful and deliberate in making these decisions, as the opportunities to further address food insecurity and hunger are numerous and the possibilities are nearly endless.”

Burrow is projected to be the number one pick in the upcoming NFL draft. With so much hype around him, the possibilities of contributions he can make off the field are endless. There is already a reciprocal food drive being created in Baton Rouge, near LSU.