Only one offer, but Card in front for Burks

One of the most under-appreciated prospects on the West Coast seems to be Charles Burks. Despite making 14 sacks for his undefeated Edison High (Huntington Beach) team last season and performing well at numerous camps and combines,'s No. 43 defensive end/rush linebacker still only has one offer, from Stanford.

And, as could be expected, the Cardinal is doing quite well with the talented recruit.

"Stanford is my No. 1 choice as of right now because I like the coaching staff and the whole environment up there - all the people, the campus, I like everything about," Burks said. "They're definitely my No. 1 right now."

Michigan, Washington, Oregon State, Duke, Arizona State and San Diego State are among those with significant interest in the 6-foot-1, 230-pound prospect, but none have pulled the trigger on an actual offer.

Although Burks would obviously like to pick up a few more offers, he seems determined to use his limited offer sheet as added motivation.

"It kind of is [frustrating]," Burks said. "You see guys there at the camps that are just as good as I am, but they have like 19 offers and stuff like that, which is just crazy. But an offer to me is an offer and especially if it's a school like Stanford, you can't beat that academically and athletically.

"It's a little bit frustrating but it's nothing that's going to make put my head down. It's just going to push me more. I feel like I can compete with them and I'm just as good as those guys, so it's something that's just going to push me more to be better."

But if another school were to offer Burks, would Stanford still be No. 1 on his list?

"I don't know," Burks said. "Stanford has been my No. 1. … I think I'd want to go and see those schools to see what they present but a degree from Stanford is second to none. Eventually football is going to end at some point – not everybody can play football forever, so when football ends, if you have a Stanford degree you're pretty much set up wherever you want to go.

"So that's definitely a plus that Stanford has. I don't know if some of the other schools can provide… that security."

Burks has had an opportunity to get better acquainted with what Stanford has to offer on several occasions – he visited the school for the Cardinal's first Junior Day in March and then again for the Spring Game last month.

"I just liked how the campus is huge and it's an amazing campus, beautiful - just everything about it is real cool," Burks said. "I also liked the facilities. The weight room is cool, the stadium. That was amazing being able to go up into the stadium and see everything like that. I liked the locker room, I liked everything. Just the campus in general is a beautiful."

Burks also got to spend some time with a professor in one of the fields he's thinking of majoring.

"When I went up there we actually got to meet with a professor," Burks said. "I had a psychology professor and I think that's kind of interesting."

Burks, who also listed business as an area of interest, holds a 3.6 GPA and scored a 24 on the ACT and 1650 on the three-part SAT.

He plans to schedule his classes for fall term next year with an eye on the Stanford application process.

"I have to take two AP classes and I'm going to plan on retaking my SAT in June, so I think after that I'll probably get the application and go from there."

Clearly, Burks is a recruit who places a high priority on the value of a good education. Still, football will obviously be a consideration in Burks' ultimate decision, and he has developed a nice rapport with several Stanford coaches, including Brian Polian, Chester McGlockton, and Randy Hart.

"They're all good people," Burks said. "I like them a lot."

Although he does play defensive end for Edison, Stanford is recruiting Burks as an outside rush linebacker in their new 3-4 defense. And though Burks hasn't played linebacker since he was a freshman, he doesn't seem too concerned about the prospect of adjusting moving back in college.

"I think I can adjust to it," Burks said. "I don't really think it's a big deal. By the end of summer, I'll be used to it, and I played outside linebacker my freshman year so I kind of know the basics of it, the drops and stuff like that."

No matter what position he plays, Burks says he brings a number of attributes to the field, many of which seem to typify a Jim Harbaugh recruit.

"Just intensity," Burks said. "I'm tenacious when I'm playing football. I don't stop for anybody, I don't stop for anything. I don't stop until I get to the quarterback or make the play."

Burks said he isn't exactly sure when he will end up making a college commitment, but that he hopes to do so before the start of his senior season.

"I'm hoping to get a couple of offers but it all depends," Burks said. "If nothing else opens up… I don't know how to say it without getting myself into… Stanford is a good place, so right now you guys [sic] are like my No. 1.

"I want to [make a decision] before my senior season starts and I'm very comfortable with Stanford so you guys are in the lead right now as far as that goes, but I don't know [when I'll end up deciding]." (Note: Bootleg reporters bend over backwards to be objective journalists, not promoters of any school, including Stanford, in accordance with NCAA rules and sound journalistic practice. Still, it is inevitable that some recruits will associate reporters for a school's site with that school, hence the use of "you guys" here.)

Along the way, Burks should receive some welcome advice from a high school senior with whom Stanford fans are familiar.

"[Teammate Jordan Zumwalt's] little brother and I are like best friends so I'm always over there with Jordan," Burks said. "We're very close friends. He helps me out with a lot. When he was committed to Stanford, I think he talked my name up a lot to the coaches, so I appreciate that. He kind of gives me advice… he's kind of like an older brother to me, just in how he gives me advice."

But if Burks did end up at Stanford, would he relish the opportunity to take it to UCLA, Zumwalt's future squad?

"Yeah," Burks said. "Of course."

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