Burks Staying Hungry

Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison defensive end Charles Burks is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2011 class with offers from Stanford, SMU and Duke among others - as well as an opportunity to become a USC Trojan. Look inside for the details.

Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison defensive end Charles Burks is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2011 class with offers from Stanford, SMU and Duke among others - as well as an opportunity to become a USC Trojan.

The talented defensive lineman, who has a conditional offer from the Trojans, was one of several highly touted recruits that came out to the Coliseum for USC's home opener against Virginia.

"It was real cool. I feel in love with the atmosphere and everything," he said. "I was blown away by it.

"I was hanging out with some local guys like Victor Blackwell and Max Wittek. There were a lot of guys, Tre Madden was there and Greg Townsend."


Burks had 14 sacks as a junior in 2009.
Burks soaked up the excitement inside the Coliseum knowing that he could be on USC's campus in the not-so-distant future, provided that he is able to enroll early, and have his scholarship count towards the 2010 class.

"It is a long process with the school board because they have all these rules and regulations," Burks said of the possibility of graduating high school early. "We are just trying to figure out all of the possibilities and options to see if it's a possibility.

"Hopefully, I will know pretty soon."

While he continues to do research and waits to hear if he will be able to enroll early, Burks has seen his recruitment heat up with Texas A&M, SMU and Utah State the latest school to show serious interest.

"I'm hearing from new schools and the schools that I have been hearing from are starting to recruit me a lot heavier," he said.

The three-star recruit isn't ready to name a top school but has been very impressed with USC.

"I don't really have a definite top school, but I definitely, definitely like USC a lot," he said.

And one of the main reasons that he is so high on the Trojans is because of defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron, who is handling his recruitment.

"I definitely would say that he is my favorite coach that I have talked with throughout this whole process. He's a great guy," Burks said. "He gets you fired up about it, and he's a great dude and a great coach. I really like him a lot.

"Coach O called me when they were first allowed to call and told me that he wanted me to come to the game. I talked to him there and he just said to keep pursuing it with my school, to graduate early. We just talked about how my season has gone so far. It was really cool."

The 6-1, 230-pound standout plays defensive end for his high school team but is being recruited as both a defensive end and outside linebacker.

"A lot of schools want to use me as both," he said. "Like a hybrid, have me come off the edge on passing situations and rush the quarterback, and they also want me to play some linebacker."

Considered undersized for a defensive end, Burks says he loves the challenge of proving critics wrong, especially when facing bigger offensive linemen.

"To describe myself as a player, I would just say – hungry," he said. "I play every down, not with a chip on my shoulder, but I play to prove everyone wrong.

"Everybody is saying that I am too short to do this or to do that, and then I go and run over some 6-foot-5 tackle, and show everybody that it doesn't matter that I am a couple inches shorter.

"I play hungry and I don't give up. I just try and go all out on every play."

Burks hasn't set up any official visits yet and said that academics will be the biggest factor in his college choice.


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