"I coached Nate Bursch as an 8th grader in basketball and coached him as a tight end when we pulled him up to our Varsity team as a sophomore. Through those experiences, I have noticed that he always expects to win," Woodbury coach Lane Swansson said to GopherDigest. "He doesn't fear anyone and will never back down no matter what obstacle he faces. He is an excellent student (3.6 GPA) and a great person. In an age of pompous flare and flamboyant athletes, Nate is a throwback to the tough guy era of football. We needed some major help on our offensive line last season and we decided to move him to LT. He agreed to the switch and decided what was best for the team was most important. He also played every snap at defensive end. He is relentless in all areas of his life and does not except failure. Nate is also a three sport athlete. He is the starting center on the Woodbury basketball team. His coach told me that he had five dunks in their summer league game the other day. I also coach him in track. He made it to state in the shot put, and while most other elite throwers are 300 pounders, Nate is just shy of 240 pounds, but is still explosive enough to have the 7th best throw in the state as a junior."
Swansson did what he could for Bursch and any other Woodbury player with helping in the recruiting process.
"I send out close to 1,000 emails and text messages per year to coaches around the country about our athletes," Swansson explained to GopherDigest. "I usually try to stay pretty neutral during the process. I drive kids to camps and junior days around the midwest. I am a huge Gopher fan, but I never try to push that on a kid. They might hear a lot of positive things about the school and staff when they are around me though! I sent an email to Coach Reeves when Nate was a sophomore and explained that they needed to take a close look at him. Within a few weeks Coach Sherels was in our school watching Nate do a morning workout. He liked him and kept a close eye on him after that. I really like this staff. They take their time when evaluating players. They really do their homework and don't throw around offers like candy. As a coach, I also appreciate how they communicate honestly."
"Nate has incredible feet, long arms, and a really strong base. He has an innate ability to shoot his hands into the defenders chest plate and lock on. When he was a sophomore, we had to hold him back during practice. He was putting our senior linebackers on their back over and over again during practice. As a collective unit, they didn't really like him at first because he practiced so hard. After a while, they started to respect his effort and it really changed the culture of our team. One thing I get on Nate about is his route running. He needs to work on coming out of his breaks. When he snaps out of his breaks, he sometimes decelerates. He is starting to overcome that so I don't expect to see much of that this year. Nate has an excellent work ethic. He was at 94% of our team workouts this year. The only time he wasn't there was during basketball sections when our head football coach ordered him not to come. During the track season, Nate would do the football morning lifts, throw after school with our throw coach, then do the workout that my sprinters did. Nate was elected as a captain by his teammates. We expect him to play DE and TE for us this year."
Swansson has a good idea of what Gophers fans should expect from their new tight end commit.
"I think Gopher fans will see that Nathan is an extremely hard worker and a selfless player. He takes just as much pride in making a touchdown block as he would in scoring the touchdown himself."