Owl Howl Exclusive: Chandler Burks Interview
I spoke with Chandler Burks, Kennesaw State’s FIRST EVER football commit to find out, well, everything!
Owl Howl: First off congratulations on being Kennesaw State’s first ever commit. The Owl Nation wanted me to let you know that we’re proud to have you.
Burks: Thank you, it’s awesome to be a part of it.
Owl Howl: Let’s start off with the recruiting process. You visited KSU on June 13th and made your decision fairly quickly on June 25th, or possibly sooner. When did you have an idea that this is where you wanted to be?
Burks: When I first talked to Coach Bohannon and he offered me and a couple of my fellow teammates, I didn’t really know much about KSU so I started digging and talking to all the coaches. Honestly, I didn’t really even have to visit on June 13th, I just wanted to see with my eyes and go with my teammates up there. I knew fairly quickly that I wanted to go there. There’s over 80 different majors that I can choose from and they do have my major. Everything weighed in. They have a great campus, great facilities and it’s not your normal start up program that is looking forward to winning in 4-5 years, they are looking forward to winning in 2015 and that’s what I’m really excited about. The decision was fairly easy for me; they have a great coaching staff, great people there. Coach Bohannon told me that already half of the season tickets are already sold out and we don’t play a game until 2015. Everybody is excited about football as well as myself, it’s going to be a great experience and I’m looking forward to getting started with it.
Owl Howl: Did knowing that you could be the first ever commitment for a program have any impact on your decision?
Burks: I would say very little impact. I’ve had recruits contact me after I committed talking about how it’s awesome and that they’ll probably end up being here soon as well. If it’s gonna start with me being the first, that’s fine. I’m just happy to know that I have a home in 2014 and will be getting a great education. I’m really excited about it.
Owl Howl: Assistant Coach Tim Glanton was your head coach at South Paulding High School. Can you talk about him a little bit and how much that factored into your decision.
Burks: Tim Glanton’s a great guy. I’m kind of biased towards him, I love that man. But I would say it was a very small factor as well. Coach Bohannon did a great job of putting together all of the coaches. It’s just a great experience to be a part of, they’re all excited about what’s coming. Coach Glanton and I were good buddies at South Paulding and I hated to see him go but when he left I knew he was going on to something bigger and better and that was at KSU, and then when KSU offered me I said I want to be a part of something bigger and better as well. I’ve said multiple times that I’m very excited and can’t wait to get to work in 2014.
Owl Howl: Do you have any idea what position you might play for KSU?
Burks: When I first talked to Coach Bohannon he told me they were recruiting me as an athlete and said you could play it all. I’m not sure what position I’ll be playing but whatever position it is I’ll compete at it whether it’s on the offensive side, defensive side or special teams. I just want to play ball, do what I love, get an education and help out the team wherever I can and benefit the team to help us win ballgames. I’m just looking forward to being out on the field and competing.
Owl Howl: Which positions do you play?
Burks: I play quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback, punt returner and kick returner.
Owl Howl: Which position do you think is your best?
Burks: I really wouldn’t say that I have a better position than others because at any position I go to I’m going to compete at a high level. At any position I’m going to play, there’s always room for improvements, all the way up through the NFL. It’s not really that I’m better at this one compared to this one, it’s that I’ll improve by the coaching that I’m going to be getting. I believe I’ll play at a high caliber level when I get out there.
Owl Howl: What do you consider your strengths to be?
Burks: On the field, I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder since I was little. I’ve always been quick but I haven’t always been the biggest guy. I don’t play 5’10” 170 pounds, I play 6’0″ 200 pounds. When it comes to game smarts, I love the game, I study the game day in and day out. I’ll stay up late sometimes watching Hudl.com video of all the teams we’re going to be playing. I’m very knowledgeable of the game because I’ve been playing since I was four years old. As I said, I play with a chip on my shoulder to prove something.
Owl Howl: Are you consider yourself a leader in the locker room?
Burks: I do. Leader-wise, I’m not very much of a vocal leader, I’m more of a silent leader, I lead by example. I do get vocal when I need to, don’t get me wrong. I do get vocal many a times. A proverb I go by is “a wise guy speaks less and more of a fool speaks more.” I kind of sit back and when I see something that needs to be straightened out or needs to be addressed I’m going to speak up and say what needs to be said, but I’m more of a silent leader that leads by example.
Owl Howl: Will you become an advocate of KSU football right off the bat, to try and get more talent on board?
Burks: Of course. I became a part of this program to see it succeed and excel. That starts with the coaching staff that’s already been put together, it’s a great coaching staff. Then you gotta have players to play ball so of course I’m going to be the advocate for KSU. Like I said earlier in the interview, a few of the recruits followed me on Twitter and contacted me, really excited that I was the first guy committed and they’re going to be making their decisions soon as well. I do have fellow high school teammates that have offers from KSU and I’m constantly on their backs. KSU is definitely in their top 2 when I talk to them. I’m excited to get this thing rolling. It’s going to be a great experience, it’s an awesome feeling.
Owl Howl: What are your thoughts on having to sit out a year in 2014?
Burks: That’s actually been a popular question. I’m excited about the redshirt year, that year for all the commits is not only a building year to learn the offensive and defensive schemes but it gives you a chance to get a lot of the core classes out of the way. It’s a big adjustment going form high school to college and it gives you a chance to balance out football and school, and I think that’s a real beneficial factor. I’m looking forward to improving my game and everybody else’s game in that year. Every time I think about it, I think 2014 is a building year where we can get a jump start on other teams in whichever conference we’re playing because we’ll be able to put in our offense and defense for a whole year and basically get those mental reps where it becomes second nature and it’s just reacting on the field and playing ball. People keep saying well you’re not going to play in your 2014 year, I say well all these others beneficial factors weigh in without playing.
Owl Howl: What other offers/interest did you have?
Burks: I had zero other offers, KSU was the only offer I had. Interest I had Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Lafayette, Mercer, Fordham, Lehigh, Stetson, Harvard, Yale and North Alabama. Like I said KSU was my only offer and I’m very grateful for them putting that offer out because it’s a great place to go to.