Burgess Built For Success

Last season, he was the proverbial human pinball on the Sun Devil team, and consequently the most electrifying player in the maroon and gold. Nonetheless, Rudy Burgess knew that in order to maintain his ability as a dazzling game breaker, changes needed to be made. The sophomore added ten points of muscle, and said that he can already feel the benefits.

"I hit the weight room pretty hard," Rudy Burgess said. "I wanted to get a lot heavier and stronger. I want to hold my weight and not get tossed around as much like I did last year. I can feel the ten pounds I added - I'm more explosive and faster. I have a lot more energy and I'm a lot healthier." When asked about his star player's new look, Coach Dirk Koetter remarked: "You see that guy without a shirt…that guy is built like we all wish we were built."

Burgess is roaring to go in the spring, which is in sharp contrast to the overall level of anxiety surrounding the team. "Last spring we were more uptight," Burgess explained. "Now that we came off a good season, we're more laid back, and we know what we need to work on. We had a great season this year, and now we need to build on it."

In 2004, Burgess was second on the team in rushing with 430 yards. He also had 248 receiving and scored all his five touchdowns on pass plays. The only thing more elusive that Burgess' moves, is his role on the team – an ever changing proposition. "I'd like to slowly work my way back to the depth chart at wide receiver," he remarked. "I do like to play tailback, but I do want to get more reps at wide receiver. I'm just gonna work on my game, and hopefully by next season I'll be in the rotation."

The constant rotating between running back and wide receiver could have taken a toll by now on Burgess, but he chooses to focus on the positives. "I'll get use to it," he said with a smile. "I played two positions at high school, and when you go back and forth you get the know the field much better. It's actually good because you're aware of your surroundings." Burgess also takes much pride in his special teams role, and aside from being the main kick and punt return guy, he will also be part of the punt and kickoff coverage teams. "Hopefully I can block a punt now or make a tackle down field."

Burgess has drawn the inevitable comparisons to versatile Reggie Bush from USC. One reason for that comparison was his performance in the Sun Bowl where he had 136 yards rushing and 64 yards receiving. Does he take that as a compliment? "Yeah, but I'm my own player" he stated. "I'd like to play my own game instead of being compared to someone else."

Speaking of the Sun Bowl, quarterback Sam Keller, the bowl's MVP, did state following the game that he would share the trophy with Burgess. We asked Burgess if the signal caller followed through? "No, I haven't seen it yet," he joked. "I did come to his house a couple of times and got to see it – it's cool. I can still get my own trophy. There's always next year (smile)." And if 2005 is anything like 2004 for Rudy Burgess, the maroon and old fans will be dazzled once again by the sophomore. The fact that he's more explosive than before can only further ignite the imagination…

Sun Devil Source Top Stories