Class of 2005 Prospect - MS DE/LB Charles Burns

Charles Burns (Hattiesburg HS, 6-3, 240, 4.7) is an outstanding defensive end/linebacker who plays for Hattiesburg High School. Charles talked about the schools that are currently recruiting him, which ones he has on his list of favorites and what he likes about each.

Charles Burns Profile:

Charles, after a couple of seasons that were cut short due to injuries, has a chance to be one of the top players in the state of Mississippi this coming season. Like so many of the best players, he received several recruiting calls during the spring evaluation period. "Mississippi State's Coach Kitchens called me," said Charles, who is being recruited as a defensive end by some schools and a linebacker by others. "He was real nice and straight up. West Virginia called me. They came to my school, they called, they did everything. They were real nice. Ole Miss called me, too. Marshall came to my school and they called me."

Charles, who received a scholarship offer from Mississippi State back in the spring evaluation period, told me that he also has a couple of other offers from West Virginia and Notre Dame.

As for his favorites, he said his early list consists of, "Mississippi State, Ole Miss, West Virginia and Auburn. I want to visit Tennessee. You can put Notre Dame (on my list)."

What are some of the things he likes about each of his favorites? I'll list the schools in the order he mentioned them.

Mississippi State - "I love Mississippi State. That is where I want to go. It is close to home. I went to a two-day camp up there one time and I liked their facilities. I just like the way they operate. Plus, I have a coach, Tom Ferrell, whose son (Tommy Ferrell) played for Mississippi State."

West Virginia - "My coach told me that they offered me a verbal scholarship, and they sent me a scholarship through the mail. I really, really love the way they show that they like me. Every day that I work out, I think about West Virginia and the attention that they give me. A lot of other people write me, but West Virginia has been on top of it. They write me every single day. I have gotten about 20 handwritten postcards from them. If West Virginia was located where Mississippi State is, I swear I would go there because I have a lot of love for them. I just like (West Virginia) Coach Trickett. He is funny and real nice. He is straight up and he lets you know how it is."

Ole Miss - "I went to Ole Miss' camp and I liked the campus. I like everything about Ole Miss. They were real nice. The defensive end coach paid me a lot of attention. Plus, I like their academics. I want a school that is hard on grades, but not real hard. They have the best facilities that I have seen. I met (Ole Miss Head) Coach Cutcliffe and took a picture with him. I was in a group - and there were a lot of people in my group - and when he called me out, that really made me feel special. We went over to the bleachers and had a man-to-man, one-on-one conversation. He asked me how I felt about Ole Miss and that they loved me there. I would go to Ole Miss in a heartbeat."

Auburn - "I don't know much about them. Coach Dunn writes me a lot and pays a lot of attention to me, letting me know that he wants me to keep him in mind."

Tennessee - "I don't know anything about them, but my best friend, (Ole Miss signee) Garry Pack, went on an official visit there and I saw the way that Tennessee is. His mom told me that it is awesome. She said that she would have rather Garry go there. I have never been there but I would like to take a visit."

Notre Dame - "Notre Dame wrote me a couple of letters. I think I talked to them once and they offered me a verbal scholarship. That name, Notre Dame, brings a lot of attention."

While I didn't ask him his college criteria, he mentioned several things throughout our conversation that appear to be significant factors. "My decision is going to be based on my mom. She feels like whoever calls me the most or pays me the most attention, that is who I should be looking at. I don't blame her. I'm also trying to go to a school where everybody takes pride in it and are cool with each other," said Charles. "I also have a girlfriend down here that I want to stay close to. And I really want to go to school with (current teammate) big Calvin (Wilson)."

Look for additional updates on Charles throughout the season.

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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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