Tough Week Works Out For Burks

It wasn't the easiest of weeks for Adrian and Aaron Burks.

It wasn't the easiest of weeks for Adrian and Aaron Burks.

The twin brothers from Phoenix, Arizona's Desert Vista H.S. had all but decided they were headed to the Big Ten, but it was Minneapolis and the Golden Gophers that the duo expected to be suiting up for next fall, not Bloomington.

That was until they received a phone call from the Minnesota coaching staff alerting them to the fact there had been a change of plans. Kerry Cooks, the assistant coach at Minnesota who had recruited the brothers and offered scholarships, had left the Gopher program for Wisconsin, and they soon found out that his departure was going to throw a big wrinkle into their plans to play in the Big Ten.

"They called us on Wednesday night, a week before signing day, and they said they wanted two guys from Florida," said Adrian. "It was a stressful week, and I was upset about what happened. When they called us, we didn't think that sort of thing would happen, especially on short notice."

But it did, and suddenly they were just a week away from signing day with no idea where they were going to play their college football. Adrian had a scholarship offer to Boise State, but Aaron had yet to be extended an offer as well. The goal was still to play in the Big Ten, and the pair began looking at Big Ten programs to see who might have a need.

They came across Indiana, and immediately sent out film to the Indiana coaching staff. Soon afterwards they received a phone call at their Phoenix home from IU Coach Terry Hoeppner, who had liked what he had seen on film. Hoeppner offered both scholarships, and the decision was all but made up.

"When we got the phone call from Coach Hoeppner, we knew right away that we were going to commit," said Adrian.

While Aaron is a virtual lock to play on the defensive side of the ball at safety, Adrian's situation is a bit more cloudy. The 6-0, 175-pound rushed for nearly 700 yards as a tailback as a senior, and could wind up in the offensive backfield. He has also played cornerback as well, and his good size and 4.4 speed in the 40 make him a viable candidate in the defensive backfield as well.

His brother Aaron thinks Adrian occasionally gets overlooked on the offensive side of the ball because he might not have the prototypical size, but opponents have generally paid the price for doing so.

"He's really motivated, he's an elusive runner and very fast," said Aaron. "He'll get the job done and is really tough. People underestimate him because of his size as a running back, but when they do it they're in trouble. His talent will overcome the size."

While he's put up his most impressive numbers on offense, Adrian knows there's a possibility that he'll wind on with his brother on defense, a move that he's definitely open to.

"I have talked to them about that, and Coach Hoeppner said they'll try me at both," said Adrian. "They said they like me at running back, that I look nice and look quick and fast. But I played defensive back as a sophomore and was all-league as a sophomore and as a junior.

"He said that he'll try me at both and he likes me at both. We'll see which fits me better, which I'll excel at better to help Indiana, that's where I'll end up."

While Adrian's position remains a bit up in the air, it's not the some sort of stress that he had to deal with during the past seven days after finding out the Minnesota scholarship offer had fallen through. That was a difficult time for both, but Adrian says they're glad how things have worked out.

"I'm excited about getting to Indiana and contributing," he said. "I think big things are ahead for us and the program."

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