After taking several visits to the likes of Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame in March, Carmel (Ind.) linebacker Noah Burks has opted for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. The three-star recruit had planned to visit Maryland and a couple other schools in April, but decided to spend his spring break with friends in Fort Myers, Fla., instead.
“I’m taking a break from the process; I feel like I needed it,” laughed Burks, who has offers from Maryland, Indiana, Illinois and several MAC programs. “But I’m definitely not done with recruiting – it’s just been delayed a little. I’m definitely still getting out to Maryland; that’s my favorite school. I’m going to fly out there in May, probably May 29, because the prices for flights are cheaper around that date. Really, it doesn’t matter when I get out there, just as long as I do. And I definitely will get out there; it just won’t be until later in May.”
The Terps offered Burks back in early March, the program immediately catching his eye thanks to its Big Ten affiliation. Since then, the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder has developed a close rapport with Maryland area recruiter Chad Wilt, who has stayed in touch consistently. On top of that, Burks has had contact with UMD head coach Randy Edsall and defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski as well.
“The Maryland staff is terrific. I love the coaches there, and, honestly, that’s the main reason they’re my top school right now,” Burks said. “The relationship with Coach Wilt was always good -- he came out to my school last year and has been talking to me since -- but it’s just built up even more. He’s just a really laid back, normal guy, and I love that about him. With some coaches, it’s all about football and it’s all about selling. But with Coach Wilt, it’s like normal conversations. We have a lot of fun when we talk.
“Then I’ve been talking to Coach Dud and Coach Edsall too, and it’s the same thing. It’s just normal. They’re not pressuring me at all. You know how some coaches will pressure you into making a decision or find out what you think? Well, it’s not like that with Maryland, and in a way it kind of relaxed me (laughs). It’s weird, but it’s also awesome. It’s a lot of fun.”
Burks went on to say that Wilt would be trekking through Carmel once again during the upcoming spring evaluation period. The Indiana linebacker also mentioned that his Terps’ recruiter will “make sure” to be back in College Park when Burks flies East.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out to Maryland and seeing the campus and meeting the rest of the coaches,” Burks said. “I’ve heard College Park is incredible, so I can’t wait to see it. I don’t really know the important parts [of Maryland] yet, but it’s in the Big Ten, which is my favorite conference. I know Coach Edsall has done a great job graduating players and has had success there – they were over .500 last year. So, to be honest, I just feel like it will be a real good fit.”
One other reason Burks is piping up the Terps is how honest the staff has been with him. Burks plays outside linebacker at Carmel, which is his preferred spot, but he said Wilt, Dudzinski and Co. let him know “from the outset” that UMD wanted him at inside backer.
“[The Terps’ coaches] are projecting me at inside linebacker, and I like how they told me that from the outset. I really appreciated that they didn’t try to sugarcoat things, and than tell me later on, ‘Oh, we want you at this position instead,’” Burks said. “They know exactly what they want to do with me and explained what my role would be. I like how I know exactly how I’ll fit in at Maryland.”
Besides Maryland, Burks has remained in contact with Indiana and Illinois, although he mentioned “it’s different with Maryland. [The Terps] just seem like they want me more.”
There are other programs that could potentially enter the fray, though. Notre Dame, which Burks saw in late March, has reached out, as has Tennessee. Burks said the Volunteers want him to visit this spring, but the Carmel prospect is unsure if he’ll follow through or not.
UND, meanwhile, wants him to perform at a one-day camp this summer before offering.
“I liked Notre Dame a lot, but I just don’t know if I’ll go to the camp or not,” said Burks, who also mentioned he’s having second thoughts about camping at Michigan, his previously stated dream school. “It’s just my interest in Maryland has grown so much. I’m thinking, Should I really go to camp to get an offer, or go with a school that wants me right now? It’s something I’m thinking about.”
For now, Burks is maintaining he has no intentions of committing this summer. He insists he wants to take all five official visits, because “it’s a big decision and I want to make sure I do all my homework.”
But, at the same time, he acknowledged his decision date could be moved up if the right circumstances arise.
“Yeah, if I go to a school like Maryland and it just feels right, I’ll commit then,” Burks said. “But it depends. I’d have to talk things over with my family. This is a big decision I have to make.”
Wilt, UMD Staff Resonating With Burks
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