Freshman Denzel Burke makes an impact in Ohio State High School




With veteran cornerbacks Sevyn banks and Cam Brown Out of season opener in Minnesota on Sept. 2, Ohio State called in real freshman Denzel burke to get his first career start.

He played well, registering four tackles and three assists for the Buckeyes. And while he was flagged for pass interference in the second quarter, leading directly to a Golden Gophers touchdown in the very next game, he was still ranked champion.

“I was pretty nervous going into this game,” Burke said at his press conference Wednesday night. “I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to go out and play, trust my technique, trust my coaches and the game decisions they’re going to make. I feel like I had a solid game. Obviously I could have done better in some areas, but it was great. “

Burke, a former four-star Scottsdale, Ariz. Saguaro prospect, was first drafted from Ohio State as a wide receiver. He told staff he wanted to play defense in college, however, after he modeled his game on that of the Green Bay Packers cornerback. Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen ramsey and New England Patriots cornerback Stephane Gilmore.

“I’ve always liked corners,” said Burke. “Receiving was more of a fun thing for me, but defense is my thing. Just being able to be a dog and dominate the guy in front of you, there’s no better feeling than being able to lock in a receiver and get interceptions and pass breakouts.

Banks and Brown have since returned to action, but Burke has started all three games and leads every cornerback on the roster with 215 defensive snaps played. He also nearly recorded his first career interception against Tulsa, although it was later canceled by a video replay.

“I was injured,” Burke said. “They said the receiver caught it, but I definitely had my hands on the ball. And then when I got to the ground, it was definitely in my possession. It just shows that I have to go on and try to get the next one.

74. Denzel Burke and Ronnie Hickman

Burke certainly doesn’t lack confidence, which is a good thing for a cornerback facing wide receivers. Garrett wilson and Chris Olave every day in practice. He also gives them credit for his continued development since arriving on campus in January.

“Garrett and Chris, in my opinion, are the best wide receivers in the country, and they’re going to improve on me,” said Burke. “If I don’t line up against them, how am I going to improve?

“I keep the best players in the country (in training), so against other teams I really don’t worry too much. I just know what they’re going to give me isn’t what Chris and Garrett are going to give me, or the rest of the guys here.

That said, Burke remains humble despite the meteoric start to his college career. He was asked what kind of goals he had for himself, but he quickly noted that he wanted first and foremost to win a national championship with his teammates.

“It’s a blessing from God,” said Burke of his beginnings as a true freshman. “It’s just a testament to the hard work I’ve put in my whole life. I worked hard, but I want to keep going harder because I still have a lot to prove.

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