Walton’s Burrows may be out, but he’s not down

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Walton defensive end Brandon Burrows likely will be out for the upcoming football season after suffering a torn ACL last week in practice. But new Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo is heartened by the responses of the schools that have offered Burrows scholarships.

“Most have called to reaffirm that they’re still interested in him,” Hidalgo said Wednesday, nearly a week after the injury. “I spoke to [Georgia coach] Mark Richt directly and to Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson and Oklahoma, who have all reaffirmed they’re still interested.”

Burrows, a 6-foot-4, 238-pound junior, has offers from those schools and Florida, Maryland, N.C. State, Purdue, among others. Hidalgo was impressed by the speed with which some schools responded to Burrows’ injury.

“Clemson, Coach Richt, Coach [Stacy] Searels [Georgia's offensive line coach], they called me about 8 the next morning to assure him that he still has an offer, as did Alabama and Oklahoma,” Hidalgo said. “They did the right thing. All those schools are headed by good men.”

It was hardly the way Hidalgo wanted his first year as Walton’s head coach to begin, after 13 years as a Raiders assistant. The college response picked up Burrows’ spirits.

“It picked up mine as well,” Hidalgo said. “A kid gets hurt and the first thing you think about is not how it’s going to affect your season, but how it’s going to affect his future. By noon Friday, I felt a lot better about it.”

Though he has been recruited more as a defensive end, Burrows was scrimmaging at running back last Thursday when he took a hit and “fell funny,” Hidalgo said. “You watch the tape and you would not have known it was that serious an injury.”

Hidalgo said Burrows’ character was one of the reasons schools are still eager to have him.

“He’s a special player and a special person — polite, respectful, honest, conscientious, all the things you want your son to be,” Hidalgo said.

6 comments Add your comment

Bulldawg

May 13th, 2009
4:52 pm

Go DAWGS and good for my HS alma mater.

Walton has never been a powerhouse in football so for any guys to get a Div 1 scholly is great and I am especially pleased that he could end up at UGA.

bamafan

May 13th, 2009
8:50 pm

I wish the kid the best of luck in the future. If all the coaches said that the scholarship stands than the kid must be a good person.
ROLL TIDE AND GO DAWGS!!

azcat225

May 14th, 2009
10:41 am

“…the kid must be a good person.” Would agree with you there, bamafan, and I also agree with Coach Hidalgo that the schools that were quick to respond regarding their offers are indeed programs headed by good men.

My kids went to Wheeler so Walton was their arch rival but I have always respected Walton and their programs, particularly the football program when it was headed up by Ed Dudley. (My son was the starting center on Wheeler’s ‘06 region champ.) It sounds to me like Walton has also picked another good man to lead their football team.

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for Brandon, and best of luck in the future, regardless of whether that future includes football or not.

Smyrna Man

May 14th, 2009
1:25 pm

Dang torn ACL… wouldnt wish that on my worst enemy

The Ole Ball Coach

May 14th, 2009
5:29 pm

best wishes to Brandon, keep your head up and work hard at rehab
you can still be a big help and blessing to your team.

A few years ago my youngest son tore his Right knee his Junior year during the season then tore the Left Knee two days before his senior year…..Talking about disappointing to us all yet he was able to find other ways to help his team and team mates…. Oh and Go Dawgs! :)

Ronnie Pollock

May 14th, 2009
11:49 pm

Remember Shaun Chapas tore a ACL at Bolles High School in Jacksonville,Fl. He did not play for Bolles in Senior Year but Coach Richt still honored his scholarship. Thank Shaun for being an outstanding fullback for the Dawgs!