Burks' number could be called to rush passer for USC

Burks' number could be called to rush passer for USC

Published Oct. 29, 2014 5:39 p.m. ET

Charles Burks decided to go to USC when it wasn't the most popular thing to do.

As he was making his decision, players who were already in the fold were leaving due to sanctions there were being handed down.

Not only did Burks stick with his commitment, he stayed through it all. Burks elected to remain a Trojan during an era when playing time is key and bolting a program is the popular thing to do when playing time isn't coming your way.

"It's been a great experience," Burks said. "I've loved every part of it."


A tenacious pass rusher coming out of Edison High School in 2011, Burks began his college career on the defensive side of the ball. But in his tenure with the Trojans, the majority of his playing time has come on special teams, where he works on the kickoff, kick return and punt teams.

During his time on campus, he's been ping ponged from defense to offense and back to defense.

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Burks, a redshirt junior, is now a rush end in Justin Wilcox's defense.

His strength of pass rushing is still with him and, Saturday when the Trojans travel to Washington State, his time could come.

With outside linebacker J.R. Tavai out for "a few weeks" with a knee injury, Scott Felix and Burks' numbers might be called in the coming weeks.

Washington State could be a prime opportunity for Burks, considering the Cougars "conceivably" could throw the ball 85 times in the game, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said.

That's a lot of drop backs for quarterback Connor Halliday. And a lot of opportunities for the USC defense to get after the quarterback.

"He's a natural pass rusher," Sarkisian said of Burks. "This game lends itself to (him) being able to play to his strengths.

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If Burks number is called, he's certain he will give it his best shot. He knows no other way.

"Anything that they want me to do (it's) 'Alright, I'm going to do it. I'm game for it,'" Burks said. "I just embrace it and make the most out of it and just try to give it my all because you never know what's going to happen. You never know what's going to work out for you.

"It was instilled in me from my parents and even my coaches back in high school. You just seize the day and make the most out of anything ... you just got to seize any opportunity that you get in any field -- school, football, life, work. Everything. Just make the most of it and make everyday a good day."

The next sack Burks records will be his first, which will make his already good day an even better one.