Burns Awaiting Offers

Mississippi is not blessed with a deep field of defensive end candidates, but there are some quality selections to choose from. The top three ends at this point are Charles Burns (Hattiesburg), Isaiah Thomas (Bruce), and John Sibley (Greenville).

What makes all three of these players so good is their speed. Charles Burns ran a true 4.75 forty at the Ole Miss camp, and it is his pursuit to the ball that has the college recruiters taking notice. So far, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Marshall, and Rice have all offered. There could be some more on its way.

The following information was revealed during our interview with Mr. Burns:

What is your current height, weight, and forty time? "I am 6' 3", 250, and I run a 4.7 forty."

Which position are you being recruited to play on the next level? "Defensive end and linebacker, but they moved me over to linebacker. That is what I am going to be playing next year. Ole Miss is recruiting me as a defensive end, so is MSU, and West Virginia. But LSU and Notre Dame like me at linebacker. Coach Saban told me I was too short to play end at his school."

What do you consider to be your strengths on the field? "My pursuit to the ball. Where ever the ball is at, I make it my business to get there. That is what all of the coaches tell me. They like the way I I get to the ball."

What are you trying to work on to take your game to the next level? "My speed. I use to be a 4.6 flat guy, but when I got bigger, my speed suffered some. I am not worried about my strength, because you know being in a college program they are going to take care of that, but you can not teach speed."

Which player do you try to pattern your game after? "In pro ball, I like Ray Lewis. College ball, it is Garry Pack. Me and Garry are real close, and I like the way he pursues to the ball. He is real aggressive."

Where all have you camped at this summer and where else do you plan to camp? "I went to Ole Miss' and LSU's senior camps. I also went to the Nike camp. I was going to go to the MSU and USM camps this month, but my dad does not want me to go to anymore camps. I hurt my shoulder at the Steve McNair camp, and he wants me to give it some time to heal. I am suppose to go get a MRI on it tomorrow, but I know nothing is wrong. It is just bruised real bad. I could not even move it for a few days, and now I have full motion. It is just bruised. That is all."

How long have you been starting for Hattiesburg? "Ever since they moved me up in the 9th grade."

What were your personal stats for the 2003 season? "They were not real good because I had hernia surgery after the 4th game. I missed the rest of the season. I had 9 sacks going into that game against N' West Rankin too. I felt like I was going to have a chance to break the state record, but I guess it was not in the plans for me to."

How about your sophomore year; what were your stats? "I did good, but not as good as my freshman season. I just have bad luck. My freshman season, I was in a bad car wreck two weeks before the playoffs started. It was nothing but some deep bruises, but the doctor would not let me play. Then my sophomore year, I tore my MCL and PCL, but I never had surgery. They just healed up on its own. I had 11 sacks before I got hurt. Then last year, I had a hernia. All I can do is hope and pray that nothing happens to me this year. The good Lord has a plan for me though, I know that. I just hope that it is in his plans for me to stay healthy next year."

Do you feel all healed up now? "Everything but my shoulder. But, yea, my legs feel good. My hernia is 100% now. I feel pretty good, yes sir."

Which schools are recruiting you the hardest right now? "Notre Dame, West Virginia, Ole Miss, MSU, everybody, Auburn, LSU, just a lot of people."

Which schools keep in contact with you by way of phone? "Everybody does. West Virginia, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, MSU, Auburn, LSU, and I miss a lot of call too."

Who called you first? "Coach Trickett from West Virginia."

Have you received any scholarship offers yet? "Yes sir, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Rice, and Marshall have."

Does any one school stand out, as far as how hard they are recruiting you? "Yes sir, West Virginia. They are recruiting me harder than anybody."

Which coach has impressed you the most? "Coach Matt Luke at Ole Miss. I like Coach Luke a lot. Coach Kitchens at MSU seems like a good guy too."

Which schools have caught your eye? "Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Ole Miss."

What do you like about Notre Dame? "Well, they just offered me a scholarship. I got it in the mail the other day. It was from their head coach. He hand wrote it and all. That was pretty impressive. They have been calling me a lot too, just keeping tabs with me."

What are West Virginia's positives? "Well, just the interest they show me. The way they recruit me, you know. They are real consistent. Coach Trickett calls me every week, not just sometimes. They really want me. You have to respect that."

What attracts you to Ole Miss? "They can probably get me before anyone else because my best friend, Garry Pack, plays there. And Coach Luke, it would be hard for me to tell him no."

Did you get a chance to take any Spring visits? "No sir, I have just been to the summer camps."

What are you going to look for when you are trying to find the best school for you? "I do not know, you know, just how it feels when I am on their campus. It is home or not. Just the place that I feel the most comfortable at."

Charles carries a 3.3 GPA and a 15 on his ACT.

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