Tough Decision for Burger

With strong family ties to Notre Dame, Joe Burger of Cincinnati (Ohio) LaSalle will have to make a tough decision as National Signing Day approaches. has the latest on this Irish legacy.

Joe Burger is down to three programs after taking an official visit to Buffalo this past weekend.

The Bulls have offered the 6-foot-2, 228-pound linebacker a full scholarship while Ohio State and Notre Dame have extended (preferred) walk-on spots.

Where does Burger stand as the days count down to a decision?

"Right now I don't know," said Burger. "I'm trying to sort things out as to taking the scholarship to Buffalo or taking a walk-on spot at Ohio State or Notre Dame."

Burger, whose father etched his name in Notre Dame history playing for the 1977 National Championship team, knows there will be some built-in pressure if he were to select the Irish. But he likes the direction Irish head coach Brian Kelly has the program headed.

"Notre Dame is on the rise and Brian Kelly is doing a great job up there; you can already see it starting to happen," said Burger. "As far as the pressure on myself, I'm always going to expect the best things out of myself and I'm going to sell-out and hopefully see where that takes me.

"Wherever I go I've just got to keep working hard. If I went to Notre Dame, maybe I would feel a little bit of pressure. My brother (Bobby graduated in 2010 after transferring from Dayton) and dad did it, but you know, I've just got to work hard and keep getting better, and then maybe an opportunity will come along and that is what I'm hoping for."

One person not placing pressure on a push to the Irish is Burger's father.

"My dad told me from the very beginning he wanted me to do what was best for me," he explained. "Obviously, our family has a history at Notre Dame. However, he wants me to do what is best for me and that is what I'm trying to figure out right now."

Buckeyes in play as well

While some may feel Burger's decision is an easy one considering his legacy status, Ohio State is a program that has shown interest in him for several months.

"One of the things with Ohio State is they showed some interest this fall," said Burger. "So I've always been thinking about them as I visited for the Wisconsin game and had a positive experience. Since Coach (Tim) Hinton got to Ohio State he stopped by LaSalle and said if I had interest in Ohio State they would love to have me as a preferred walk-on.

"It would be dumb of me not to check them out with Urban Meyer going up there as they are going to have some really good things going on up there in the next couple of years."

As for Buffalo, Burger enjoyed his official visit and knows they also have the programs he's interested in to advance his education.

"I think I'm going to go into engineering," explained Burger. "I was up there this past weekend and it was a very good experience. They have a very nice campus and I really liked all the coaches up there."

With his decision down to three schools, does Burger feel he'll be able to make a decision before National Signing Day?

"I don't know (the answer) to that question," said Burger. "I hope so, but whenever I decide that's when I'll decide, but right now I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I hope sooner than later, but as of today I'm not ready." Top Stories