After visit, UNC is No. 1 for Burks

As promised, <I>Inside Carolina</i> checks in with the first of five JuCo recruits who took official visits to Chapel Hill last week. Justin Burks, a standout linebacker from Cerritos, Calif., is high on the Tar Heels wish list. Check out what he had to say about his visit and what he thinks about Chapel Hill.

After North Carolina squeaked by Duke Saturday, head coach John Bunting and his staff hosted five Junior College recruits beginning on Sunday.

One of the five was Justin Burks, one of the top recruits in the nation -- possibly the top linebacker in the nation.

Burks (6-1, 220) was recently named to the All-Mission Conference first team defense and racked up 123 tackles this season for Cerritos, (Calif.).

His fellow teammate and linebacker Marcus Miller is also being courted by UNC.

Burks said the trip was everything he expected it to be, but he did not commit to the Tar Heels.

"I didn't commit at this point," Burks said. "Right now, North Carolina is my leader and they have a lot to offer. They are my number one school right now."

Burks said he planned to sit down and talk to his mother about his visit over Thanksgiving.

He also plans to take at least two more visits but did not specify where those visits would be or when they would take place.

A majority of the visit to Chapel Hill involved meeting with academic advisors and meeting with the coaching staff as well.

However, there was also a trip to Kenan Stadium and a run through the tunnel onto the field.

"We got to wear North Carolina jerseys," Burks said. "They called out our names and positions, so that was neat."

The highlight of the trip was a dinner at Spanky's on Franklin Street on Monday night. A collection of UNC fans gathered prior to the recruits' arrival and greeted the five with signs and cheers.

"That was exciting and we didn't know that anyone knew we were there (in Chapel Hill)," Burks said. "They had pictures of me and I was smiling in the shot of me; I get picked on about that picture everyday."

Burks said he chomped down on a full rack of brown-sugar ribs.

"It was just great and I really enjoyed myself," Burks said. "We had lots and lots of good food."

North Carolina did everything it could to make Burks feel at home and it didn't go unnoticed.

"They are real considerate people," Burks said. "I got to meet with Coach (Dave) Huxtable (who would be my position coach) and he was real cool. They want to win."

As many find out, North Carolina's campus speaks for itself. Burks found that out first-hand during his visit.

"It was a great campus -- all the trees -- it was just awesome. You could take a picture just about anywhere on campus and make a post card out of it."

Burks also got to meet Dexter Reid, the Tar Heels lone All-ACC selection and the team leading tackler.

"He was real cool. It was great for me to see someone who is doing well in the program. I also got to meet (Bobby) Blizzard and he is a real big and cool guy. They were all good guys."

The only thing cooler would be if Burks were making tackles for the Tar Heels next season. And if nothing changes, it looks like he just might be in Carolina Blue.

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