With his father having played for the University of Wisconsin in the late 80s, Pickerington (OH) Central linebacker Brandon Burks knew that Madison was on his list of places to stop at during his summer camp circuit.
He also knew he would have a good tour guide, although his dad, David Burks, probably wasn’t prepared for all the changes that have happened since he was there from 1985 to ’89.
“That’s all he said (that it’s changed),” the younger Burks joked. “We pulled in (Saturday) because I came from Northwestern, and he showed us around … We had to talk to Coach Rudolph about where to go because my dad was struggling with his memory.”
As much as the 6-1, 225-pound athlete enjoyed getting the nostalgic tour, Burks was just as pleased with his performance during Wisconsin’s third and final one-day camp of the summer.
“The camp went great,” said Burks. “My mindset going in was not worry too much. I’ve been playing football all my life, so I really had nothing to worry about. A lot of the coaches have seen me before when they were at Pitt, so it’s not too much pressure.”
Burks worked the morning session with the outside linebackers and walked away feeling he did well in the drills and in the one-on-ones. With the Badgers nearly full at that position in the 2016 recruiting class, Burks shifted to running backs for the afternoon session.
“I did drills and picked up pretty fast what they did in the first practice,” said Burks. “Going into one-on-ones, I think I did even better than I did in one-on-ones with the linebacker drills.”
The move was facilitated in part by offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph, who has visited Burks at his school and has developed a good communication with him and his family.
“He seems to have a lot of interest in me, trying to get other members of the coaching staff on board with him, too,” said Burks. “It’s a good relationship with me and Coach Rudolph. Since they had two linebacker commits (Saturday), Rudolph is trying to get me in where I fit in. They think running back with my size and, depending how I grow, I might go to fullback or back to linebacker depending on where they need me.”
Playing safety, linebacker, receiver and running back for Central, Burks finished last season with roughly 40 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He’s as versatile for his high school team as teammate Seth Currens, who committed to the Badgers earlier this month.
“We talk a lot,” Burks said of him and Currens. “When they came in and we worked out for them they offered him, and he really liked it. When he went to go visit he told me all about it. We discuss it some. We’re waiting for them to pull the trigger and then we can start talking about it. It’d be nice to come with him and having somebody you know because you are eight hours away from home.”