Noah Burks is one of the top prospects in the state of Indiana, a badge of honor he wears with pride and something he’s bringing to the University of Wisconsin in a couple months. He’s also a huge basketball fan, so the three-star prospect was in heaven sitting at the Kohl Center on the last day of his official visit watching the hoops team take down Michigan State.
“It was a really exciting game, and I didn’t expect anything less from the atmosphere,” Burks told BadgerNation. “The fans were going pretty wild. It was a great matchup between the two teams. Obviously the only difference from a football game was there were fewer people there, but that was my first time being in the Kohl Center for a Wisconsin basketball game and the fans killed it.”
Burks had already taken two unofficial visits to Wisconsin for football games since committing in June, but taking his official visit less than three weeks from national signing day still offered a different perspective.
Joining committed linebacker prospect Griffin Grady and uncommitted prospects Deron Harrell and Caesar Williams on campus, the 6-3, 230-pound Burks enjoyed getting a feel for Madison during the winter months. It also didn’t hurt that he got to stay at the Edgewater Hotel on Lake Mendota.
“That was absolutely incredible,” said Burks, referring to his accommodations. “There were a lot of great things about coming up this weekend.”
Two of those things were getting a chance to mingle with Fort Lauderdale (FL) High linebacker Dallas Jeanty and Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro quarterback Kare Lyles. Both commits had already moved in and were preparing to start their college career.
“Be able to hang out with them the whole time, even though they weren’t my host, was a blast,” said Burks. “I’ve been able to hang out with Dallas multiple times. We’ve seen each other at different all-star events and national tournaments, so we’ve been able to build that relationship. He’s been staying with Kare for the past month, so all of us have made a good bond.”
While he got a chance to mingle with a lot of players on the roster, Burks – rated the No.38 OLB in the country by Scout.com - got a lot out of his visit from senior tailback Dare Ogunbowale, his host for the weekend.
“Everyone has great character, and that’s one of my favorite things,” said Burks. “The people there are great. With guys (like Dare) going into their senior year, you understand how the ride goes along. It’s a grind, but in the end it’s all worth it and everyone has a great time going through it.”
Starting at outside linebacker, Burks spoke at length with OLB coach Tim Tibesar about the schemes and the techniques of the position, a spot Burks knows well from playing in the 3-4 defense at Carmel (IN) High. He also got a chance to grow his relationship with head coach Paul Chryst.
“Coach Chryst is the dude,” said Burks. “He is behind it all. He’s got his dream job now, and you know this guy is not going anywhere. He’s a very reliable coach, someone you can go to him with almost anything. Just talking with him all the time and building that relationship, you just know he is the most genuine guy in the program and what makes it run.”
Having participated in the Semper Fi All-American game earlier this month, competing on opposite teams as Jeanty, Burks got his name mentioned with an interception and being one of the standouts during the week, taking a lot of positives away from the experience that should help him in college.
“From a football perspective, I learned how to compete at a higher level,” said Burks. “Outside of football, I think building those relationship with all those guys who are going to different colleges was overall my favorite part of the whole thing. You can talk with them about anything and then you’re playing alongside of them. It was just a great experience to get.”