UVa picked up its ninth verbal commitment yesterday from Columbia High School (Maplewood, NJ) star Denzel Burrell . Burrell, a 6-4, 205 pound prospect who plays defensive end for Columbia, expects to play outside linebacker on the next level. He calls the UVa 3-4 defense a “perfect fit for my style of play” and feels he will be able to adjust well to the new position.
“Reacting in situations and my constant motor are my main strengths,” Burrell said. “I react very quickly to what’s going on around me. Plus I’m going to work hard to make the transitions I need to help the team.”
Columbia Assistant Coach Greg Cooper indicated that Virginia, led by primary recruiter Mark D’Onofrio, liked that Burrell is “relentless towards the football.” Burrell demonstrated this talent as a junior, tallying 75 tackles with 23 of those for-loss, 26 quarterback pressures, and 10 sacks.
UVa would be the first to offer a full scholarship on April 17th, following their Spring game. The way the UVa coaches interracted with Burrell on that day went a long way towards landing his verbal commitment yesterday.
“When I came down on April 17th, I really liked the attention the coaches paid to me,” Burrell said. “I went down to UNC for a day as well and it wasn’t the same. It was more informal, kind of welcoming the entire group, whereas at UVa, it was more personal. I had a chance to talk to all of the coaches and see the offices and everything. They answered my questions about how many guys they are bringing in and what the positives and negatives were about me. They were honest. They said they want to bring in four linebackers this year, two inside and two outside. I just felt honored to be one of the ones they want to bring in.”
Burrell’s parents were enthusiastic about the decision as well. He first mentioned a possible commitment to them on the 17th, however waited until several weeks had passed before finally making the choice.
“My parents were very happy with my decision,” Burrell said. “When I came back on the 17th, my Mom was especially thrilled because it’s the top public University. She wanted me to decide on the spot. But I talk to some friends and other people and just thought about it for the past two weeks. I did a lot of thinking the past few weeks and thought it was the right fit for me. So it was not a rush decision and it was my own decision. I felt I made a thorough decision...
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