Burno says Army could be "perfect fit"

Before being sidelined for the year with an ACL injury in July, Alijah Burno was expected to be one top players in the Pennsylvania capital region. The 6-foot-1, 260-pound defensive lineman put together an impressive junior season at Susquehanna Township High School which landed him two summer offers from Army and St. Francis.

Burno tells ArmySports.com he first heard about his Army offer while at West Point in July.

"On the Army visit I saw my name on their board with the word 'offer' next to it," Burno said. "Then my mom called me and said the offer had come in the mail. I loved everything I saw on the West Point visit from the school itself to the churches to the prep school to the stadium, everything. It felt like home when I was there. I took my dad who was in the Air Force and he loved it too. I'll be going back on November 8th for the Connecticut game.

"The staff lines my versatility on the line. They like my quickness, my get off, my speed. I watched the games with Buffalo, Ball State, and Rice. It's actually a defensive similar to what I played in high school. It would be kind of perfect for me. When I was on campus, the d-line coach had me watch drills. He said he'd love to coach me. I even took a picture with him because he said that even if I don't go to West Point he wanted to remember me."

Burno had a busy summer competing in camps at New Hampshire, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, and Temple. He also took unofficial visits to Army and St. Francis. He's been hearing from a number of schools including Buffalo, Lafayette, Monmouth, and Wagner.

"I think recruiting is going to pick back up again for me after the season," he said. "I'm rehabbing five to seven days a week and I'm still working my upper body. You can't really tell I even had the tear. My therapist said I'd be back to 100-percent in February or March. I go to every game and every practice. I've been coaching some of the younger guys up. They asked me to. A lot of them say they want to be like me. It's showing on Friday nights.

"As a sophomore I was playing center with a little defense. I moved over to play a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense. Last year, I had five and a half sacks, between 40 and 50 tackles, and around 15 to 20 tackles for loss. Going in to this season I was on many pre-season lists, but my injury came and, unfortunately, ended my year. Some of the colleges looking at me wanted to see senior film.

"I'm definitely looking at high academic schools. I would like to go into the medical field. I'm hoping or a team with a good strength and conditioning program. One of the main things, and i felt it at Army, would be if it feels like family, feels like home to me."

Burno has one older brother who played at Kutztown, a Division II program, and another older brother, Ashton, who was a four-year starter at Duquesne in the FBS.

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