Burruss Following Uncle's Footsteps

De La Salle's Javon Burruss looks up to his uncle Jeff Allen.

De La Salle sophomore offensive lineman Javon Burruss may be young, but he's been around the game of football for a while, especially Illinois football.

The 6'5" 310 pound soph offensive guard is the nephew of former Illinois offensive tackle and current Kansas City Chiefs lineman Jeff Allen.

And despite his age, Burruss is already mature beyond his years.

He's not only been mentored by Allen, but he plays on a line with some other talented linemen, including Jamarco Jones. Burruss takes every opportunity to learn from the people around him. "They've been able to teach me to keep my head up," he said, "to keep my feet moving, how to be really agile, and just stay calm out there."

Burruss's size is a big asset for him, but rather than be a big fish in a small pond, he's always challenged himself and made sure his competition matched his abilities.

He said, "I've been playing up my whole life, so I've kind of gotten used to it by now."

Most offensive linemen don't even see the field until their junior or senior year when it comes to varsity football, but Burruss has been relied upon already by his coaches and teammates to step in and make an impact.

"It helps a lot to play early because I can learn from my mistakes now," said Burruss, "and I can get better in the future and get better every year."

And from an early age, he watched his uncle, a former two-star recruit, ascend out of the Chicago Public Schools to be a second-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. Burruss has learned a lot from his uncle throughout his continuing career.

"It made me want to go out and player and stay hungry," he said of his uncle's hard work. "I want to go out and do everything I can to have my team win. That and keep a positive attitude."

"The biggest thing," Burruss said, "was he told me I have to keep my grades up and keep getting A's and B's, and to stay strong."

Burruss has a strong handle on his work in the classroom, which has allowed him to spend time working on his game as an athlete.

"I want to work on my footwork and my speed," he said. "That and I want to lose a little weight so I can be more agile than I am now and move around a little better."

Other than his uncle, Burruss looks up to San Diego Chargers tackle Omar Gaithers and Allen's teammate Jon Asamoah of the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I've been to Illinois already, but I haven't really done a lot with recruiting," said Burruss. "I have talked to Florida a bit too, though. I'd like to go check out Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, and Notre Dame too. Schools like that."

Though young, Burruss has given thought to staying close to home if the right opportunity presents itself.

"My family wants me to stay close to home just like my uncle did," he said. "I think it would be a good thing though."

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