April 17, 2010

Burrows knows what position he'll play

Incoming freshman Brandon Burrows doesn't arrive on campus until May 31, but the incoming former Walton High standout already knows where he'll be lining up when the Bulldogs being their summer workout drills.

Originally recruited as a weakside defensive end, Burrows told UGASports Friday that he already knows what position in the 3-4 scheme he'll call home - Will linebacker.

"I love it," Burrows said. "It's something I feel very comfortable with. I'm just going to do what I need to, work hard and do what I can to fit in."

Burrows made sure he paid close attention during last Saturday's G-Day Game at Sanford Stadium.

A self-described student of the game, Burrows watched intently how future teammates like Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington and Reuben Faloughi approached and carried out each play.

"I thought the guys all did great," Burrows said. "I really liked the intensity, and how they were really flying all around the ball."

To those who followed Burrows' recruitment to Georgia, his story is a familiar one.

Burrows suffered a torn ACL back in a May scrimmage, and it cost him his senior season, that coming on the heels of another knee injury to his other leg injury his sophomore year.

One of his team's more versatile players, Burrows rebounded from that initial injury to post double-digit sacks as a junior and had set his goals even higher until the ACL tear prematurely ended his high school career.

Naturally, last fall was very difficult for the 3-star performer to endure.

However, it did offer a rare opportunity to help him in other ways.

"I got to stand back and watch the game from a different perspective," Burrows said. "I got to go back and see the things I did the last year I played, and what I need to improve, things like that."

As for his injury, Burrows said he's recovered and raring to get to Athens.

The 6-foot-3, 233-pounder continues to work religiously in the weight room, not only getting his body stronger, but through his flexibility drills appears ready to make an impact his first year with the Bulldogs.

He just might get his chance.

Georgia finished spring with just five scholarship player at outside linebacker, including former Mike linebacker Darryl Gamble who was flipped to the outside early last week.

Burrows, along with fellow freshman T.J. Stripling, Dexter Morant and Jalen Fields, should all get their opportunities.

"It's definitely an opportunity; I just need to work hard and show the coaches that I'm capable of doing the job," Burrows said. "It's a huge opportunity, but I know I definitely can't afford to take anything for granted."

That includes the number he hopes to wear.

Burrows said he has asked head coach Mark Richt for No. 41, the jersey number held last year by former defensive end Roderick Battle.

But even if No. 41 doesn't work out, Burrows won't do any complaining.

After all, it was Georgia which stuck with its commitment to after he tore his ACL, something Burrows said he can never, ever forget.

"I can't even explain what that meant to me," Burrows said. "I was just extremely fortunate that it was a program like Georgia and when told me I still had a scholarship … I can't even put it into words."

Georgia's faith in Burrows was returned when the player said he never thought once about breaking that commitment when Richt overhauled his defensive coaching staff.

But even if that had caused some initial angst, it didn't take Burrows long to figure out that Richt was getting a good one when he hired Grantham away from the Dallas Cowboys.

"When they hired him I did a little research on Google and stuff like that," he said. "I read a lot of papers, and I was extremely excited when I started to learn more about him and the defense he was bringing. I really feel like it's going to be a great fit."

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