Denzel Burrell , a 6-4, 208 pound outside linebacker prospect out of Columbia High School (Maplewood, NJ) and UVa’s 9th verbal commitment for the 2005 recruiting class, tripped down to his future school earlier this summer. Burrell, who has played defensive end throughout high school, enjoyed his first experience playing linebacker during UVa’s summer camp.
“I went to UVa’s summer linebacker camp at the end of June,” Burrell said. “It was cool working out with the linebackers. We did 7-on-7, and I really learned a lot. It was really my first experience at linebacker. This year I’ll be playing a different array of positions, and I’ll be playing off the end sometimes. Before I left I bought a linebacker tape. It has drills I can work on…drills I can do with our players.”
There have been a number of firsts for Burrell this off-season. In addition to playing linebacker for the first time, he has had his first experience in an actual weight program and has attended a speed school. He now weighs 208 pounds, hoping to reach 215 by the start of his season. Speed-wise, he was timed officially a few weeks ago at 4.7 flat in the 40 yard dash.
“I can bench a max of 270,” Burrell said. “I’m up to 208 pounds, and I hope to be up to 215 or 220 by the start of this season. I know it’ll be tough, but it’s something I think I can attain. I’m going to eat a lot of protein bars and try to do it. I’ve already noticed a lot of gain so far. This year is my first in an actual weight-lifting program. I gained 10 pounds just like that.”
During the UVa camp, Burrell says the coaches encouraged him to keep working hard in terms of improving strength, weight, and speed. UVa’s coaches informed him of his projected weight once he works in their strength program.
“They said they are projecting me to weigh 240 pounds,” Burrell said. “I’m going to speed school and they told me to keep doing that. They said keeping speed up is important when you gain weight. They just said keep working hard.”
Burrell’s camp experience only enhanced his feelings about committing to UVa.
“I stayed for four days,” Burrell said. “I stayed on McCormick…I think it was Page. It was good. I met a lot of people and I liked the campus life. The stadium was great. The campus was beautiful. It made me want to go there even more.
“Nothing has changed…I’m really happy with my decision. Plus, Virginia has gotten...
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