TECUMSEH - Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has the chance to become the first quarterback in history to win the Heisman Trophy, the College Football National Championship, and the Super Bowl, and he's ties to southeast Nebraska. 

Joe’s grandpa, Wayne Parde, lives in Johnson County, and has watched Joe develop into the star he’s become at the professional level since day one.

“We knew he was pretty athletic because when he was about 18 months old, he’d take these Nerf footballs and punt them,” Parde said. “He was a really exceptional athlete even at that age.”

Burrow’s mom is from Cook, NE., a town just north of Tecumseh. When in town, Burrow usually heads to the Harvest Bowl, where NCN met with Parde.  

Parde will be in person, to cheer on his grandson, come Super Bowl Sunday.

“I am really excited because I’ve been watching the Super Bowl since it started,” Parde said. 

Parde is now watching his grandson’s athletic ability on the biggest stage in sports.

“It’s amazing. You can’t really believe how it affects you, that he’s able to be where he’s at,” Parde said. “We’re on the Joe train, let’s put it that way.”

Wayne will be cheering on Joe with one of his biggest supporters in his heart. His wife Marianne, Joe’s grandmother, passed away in May.

“We didn’t get to go to the NFL games because of COVID,” Parde said. “And then, Joe got hurt, so we didn’t get to go to any NFL games before she passed.”

Those at the Harvest Bowl, treated Marianne like royalty.

“Ron up here, he’d call Marianne ‘Grandma Heisman’,” Parde said. 

Wayne knows Marianne is looking down on Joe with a smile. 

Q: “How proud would Marianne be of Joe now?”

“She’d be exceptionally proud,” Parde said.