Aaron Burks Has More Than Football on Mind

Indiana might have gotten a 2-for-1 deal with one of its most recent commits, Aaron Burks.

Indiana might have gotten a 2-for-1 deal with one of its most recent commits, Aaron Burks.

Don't take that wrong - that's not as in two commits with Aaron and his twin brother Adrian, but rather a two-sport standout with the one pledge from 5-11, 180-pound Aaron, who prepped at Phoenix, Arizona's Desert Vista H.S.

While Aaron is signing a scholarship Wednesday to play football for Terry Hoeppner, he's already looking into the possibility of walking on to Coach Tracy Smith's IU baseball team as well. It doesn't seem like a stretch, either, considering the fact he was a member of the 2004 Junior Olympic baseball team while living in California, and he was being recruited by Virginia to play baseball a year ago.

"When I moved out here (to Arizona from California) I got here too late I couldn't try out for the team," said Aaron, who then decided to focus on football and track. "But I plan on trying to walk-on to the baseball team (at Indiana) as well. I'm more of a slap hitter, get on base and steal bases."

While he might wind up being a two-sport standout at the collegiate level, it's the same position that he plans to play – centerfield. In baseball that means he hopes to roam Sembower Field's outfield as the anchor of the IU defense, and in football that means safety, where he's starred as a talented prep on the West Coast.

As a senior he totaled 56 tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries on defense while also contributing on offense as a wide receiver. He impressed enough coaches with his play to get offers from the likes of Minnesota and Boise State, among others.

There's probably no one who knows his abilities better than his brother, Adrian, and he believes Indiana has itself a player than can do some special things on the defensive side.

"On defense he knows the whole field," said Adrian. "He knows what everyone is doing. He's smart on the field. He can predict, he can use his athletic ability and smarts. On defense, he's the quarterback of the defense."

While it might seem like a long journey for Aaron and his brother, it's one that Aaron says they've long wanted to make. The twins were born in Milwaukee and lived there until they were nine, and Aaron said it's always been a goal to return to the Midwest.

"I've always wanted to play in the Big Ten," said Aaron. "The competition is so good here, and the Big Ten is always on TV so when our family can't make it to the games, they can watch us on TV. We didn't hear from Wisconsin, but we did hear from Minnesota, and then Indiana came through with an offer and we decided Indiana would be the best place for us. They're going to turn the program around, and we want to be a part of that."

The Burks' decision to go to Indiana was a quick one. Scholarship offers from Minnesota feel through one week before signing day, which left them scrambling to see where they'd end up on signing day. But Indiana Coach Terry Hoeppner quick jumped at the opportunity to bring both in this fall, and they in turn quickly accepted the Hoosiers' offer.

"I wanted to go somewhere that I could be a part of a program on the rise, and I think (Indiana) is going to be a powerhouse," said Aaron. "If they start getting better recruits every year, we'll continue to get better, and I want to be a part of that."

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