Back in August, Vanderbilt got a commitment from one of the top targets on its defensive recruiting board. Oren Burks out of Lorton (Va.) South County has the frame, length, versatility and the athleticism to be an impact player in college. During his senior season Burks has been showing off that ability to the tune of 71 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown and three forced fumbles.
Along with a strong senior season, Oren Burks can add homecoming king to his resume.
With his high school career winding down, Burks gave 247Sports an update on where he stands with his high school season and his commitment to the Commodores.
Why Vanderbilt University?
“Vanderbilt, I really love the city and I love the direction the program is heading. I really believe in Coach (James) Franklin and my position coach Coach (Brent) Pry. You really can't beat SEC and Vanderbilt’s strong academics. Having both of those in the same school is really rare. I'm excited with the opportunities I have with Vanderbilt."
How much interaction have you had with Vanderbilt since your verbal?
"We have been talking every week or so. I give him [Coach Pry] a call after my Friday games on Saturday or during the following week to catch up on my play and how things are going (at Vanderbilt)."
What are you currently doing to help your team?
"As far as my team, I am working on getting the guys around me to play better and want to get better. By teaching them some of the things I have learned from my high school and college coaches and the training I have gone through to be the DI player that I am. Some things I am working on is refining my techniques; because I am playing a little bit of inside linebacker, so there are different reads than I am used to at outside linebacker. So I am getting used to that, being more versatile, and knowing my different positions (OLB, defensive end, ILB, receiver) a lot better.”
What are you doing to help yourself get ready to be an impact player at the college level?
“I am really focusing on my game, improving, and making everything I do a lot faster. I am really working on my film study, being able to read and know plays, and things like that. I am working on my strength too and have been working in the weight room pretty hard in the off season and even during season.”
When do you plan to return to Vanderbilt?
“Hopefully, on November 17, 2012 (football game) against Tennessee.”
When is your official visit at Vanderbilt?
“I am really excited about that weekend, January 18- 20, 2013 where they get all the recruits together for a weekend. So you get to see and get to know the guys. I am really excited to get a chance to see them. I get a chance to see who the coaches have put together in my recruiting class."
Is your family excited about your choice and do they plan to attend one of the visits with you?
“Yeah they are all very excited about me going to Vanderbilt and have really been supporting me throughout the whole recruiting process. I know for sure that they will be there whenever I need them. Hopefully some of my extended family will be on the visit in November."
Jamie Oakes of Wahoos247 contributed to this report.