Commitment Impact - Noah Burks

Continuing to stockpile linebackers for the middle of his 3-4 defense, Wisconsin and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda landed on its top targets Saturday in Carmel (IN) High prospect Noah Burks. What makes Burks' commitment big for the Badgers? BadgerNation breaks it down and looks at the ripple effects

Committed Over: Carmel (IN) High linebacker Noah Burks committed to Wisconsin over eight other offers, including ones from Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and Minnesota.

Rated: Burks is currently ranked a three-star prospect and the No.40 outside linebacker by Scout.com.

On Film: I consider Burks one of the most talented defenders in the state in the Class of 2016. His work ethic and versatility standout immediately when he takes the field. His biggest strength is in securing the edges in defending the run. He possesses great length and speed and has an outstanding first step in getting to the outside.

He’s big and savvy enough to take on linemen up front and will lay wood when he sheds them to get to the quarterback or running back. His athleticism allows him to man up against tight ends and the slot wide out in the flats. Last season he was called upon to be the spy ‘backer against top run teams and was active everywhere on the field.

His motor shines on special teams and he registered four blocked punts last season. Burks is also a smart player, is sound in technique and plays for one of the most well-known teams in the state in Class 6A Carmel. At 6-3, 215-pound, if he continues to add size, he could be an early contributor for the Badgers. – Indiana Recruiting Analyst Anna Hickey

Recruiting Impact: Losing a pair of outside linebackers after the 2015 season and Vince Biegel after 2016, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and the Wisconsin staff have made recruiting talented outside linebackers a priority over the last two recruiting cycles. They’ve succeed, as UW signed five linebackers last season (3-4 who will be OLB) and have added Menomonee (WI) prospect Mason Stokke and Burks thus far in 2016.

But are the Badgers done? If it’s the right kind of player, Wisconsin would likely take one more outside linebacker in this class, although it’s no longer a necessity. Rancho Cucamonga (CA) Los Osos Bryce Youngquist is the big fish out there for the Badgers and the four-star prospect has talked about visiting.

McKeesport (PA) High Tymar Sutton just recently visited and came away impressed with the program, but he has several more visits to take. Will UW still have a spot for him by the time he’s ready to make his decision? Doubtful.

Ohio’s Ethan Tucky and Virginia’s Tavante Beckett appear to be on the outside looking in, but the real interesting case involves Katy (TX) HS prospect Paddy Fisher. He just visited along with his two defensive back teammates – Travis Whillock and Colin Wilder – and the three want to play college football together. After the commitment of Seth Currens, UW will probably only take one, at most two, safeties. Is there enough room for the three of them now?

Quotable: “I really see it as the perfect fit," Burks said. "It's a big school, which I love. The fan base is incredible. I have a great relationship with the staff. I'm obviously in love with all of the tradition. I will also be playing in the same type of defense as I am now, but just at a different level, so it will be a good transition.” – Burks.

Final Thought: Burks immediately fell in love with Wisconsin after visiting the campus. If the NCAA ever allows official visits to take place in the summer time, the Badgers could see a major spike in recruiting. After all, are there many better places than Madison in the fall?

Wisconsin sees Burks as an aggressive rusher who can stop the run, more than hold his own in man to man or drop back into coverage to play the pass. He registered 120 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles as a junior. This is a great pickup for the Badgers in a talented Indianapolis region.


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