"Coach Kotulski has been to my school more than five times," Burke said. "He's been there a lot, so I'm going to go out June 17-20 for their Monday night lights and junior day camp."
That "so" in Burke's statement hints at why coaches rack up so many frequent flier miles. (And will go to any length, no matter how trivial, to show a recruit attention.) The more interest a staff demonstrates, the better the chances of landing the recruit, or so the thinking goes. Of course, overzealous pursuit can sometimes backfire, but in this case, ask Burke what stands out about Stanford, and the attention is the first thing in his mind, preceding even the Cardinal's academics.
"They've probably been the most [frequent visitors]," Burke said. "They came after my sophomore year. I've talked to [Coach Kotulski] a lot. He's been the recruiter at our school the most, honestly. For him to come out that much, I just like it. To get a degree from there, that's pretty good."
Of course, there's a seeming incongruity here, with Kotulski's pursuit juxtaposed by the lack of a formal offer. That paradox may not be soon for this world, as Burke is hopeful that his June visit is good for more than just souvenirs.
"Coach Kotulski has been out to see me a ton, and he said they want me to come out, so hopefully when I go out, I'll get an offer," Burke said. "You never know. I'm across the whole U.S., so I think they want to see if I come out and have all the coaches meet me.
"He always just says come out to see. They want to see me run around. They want me to run, do drills, and see the campus and everything.
"I hope they do [offer]. It would mean a lot. I wouldn't commit right away, but it'd be up there on my list."
Perhaps our favorite quote of this recruiting season comes courtesy of Burke. It doesn't translate well to print, but when we asked why the Cardinal would rocket up his list, he replied simply, but in a tone that suggested the question answered itself: "It's Stanford."
Still, despite the Cardinal's strengths, distance will be a factor.
"It's a good thing to have a degree from there, but it's so far away, so I don't know," he said. "It's a tough decision."
Of course, distance is only one part of the larger picture, and Burke reports his parents mirror that line of thinking.
"Obviously, they're not going to tell me to do any one thing," he says of their influence on his college selection. "Yeah, it's far away, but in the long run, it'd probably be the best, so we're going to go out and see everything."
Burke is not sure exactly who will be joining him for his trip West, but does think at least one of his parents will accompany him next month.
Academically, he reports a 3.7 and, on the advice of Stanford's staff, will be retaking his SAT and is considering senior year AP courses.
On the gridiron, Burke talks about a love of the game, in particular its physicality and getting after a ballcarrier as a defender.
He should have the opportunity to do just if he lands at Stanford. While other schools are recruiting him at tight end, defensive end, and middle linebacker, the Cardinal want him at an outside linebacker.
At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Burke is the No. 24 MLB nationally and a three-star prospect to Scout.
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