By DARRYL MAXIE / firstname.lastname@example.org
Even an injury that ended Brandon Burrows’ senior season before it began couldn’t scare Georgia away from the Walton defensive end.
After learning that Burrows tore an ACL in spring practice on an innocuous-looking play, Georgia coach Mark Richt was on the phone, reaffirming the Dogs’ interest in the 6-foot-4, 230-pound rising senior.
“Just thinking back to the morning after I got hurt, I was on the phone with Coach Richt and he said I was still good with them,” Burrows said. “That really said a lot.”
Burrows rewarded Richt’s loyalty by committing to the Bulldogs Wednesday. He becomes their 13th commitment, and chose the Dogs over Florida, Oklahoma, Clemson and N.C. State.
“The impact of that [call] was huge; it’s hard to put into words,” Burrows said. “Especially before committing, when something like that happens, you’re never sure. The first 24 hours after I got hurt were pretty hectic, but it was such a relief [when Georgia called], it’s really hard to describe.”
Burrows, who had surgery on his right knee last month, is the 28th-ranked defensive end in the country, according to Rivals, and the 38th nationally, according to Scout.
He was working out at another position, running back, when he fell in a peculiar manner. It didn’t look serious at the time, but a subsequent examination revealed the torn ACL.
Burrows said his recovery is “a little bit ahead of schedule,” and his high school coach, Rocky Hidalgo said Burrows “looks like he could play now” though, of course, he cannot.
“He’s in good spirits,” Hidalgo said. “It’ll be hard for him when the team hits the field. He always felt like Georgia was the best fit for him.”
The way the Bulldogs coaches stuck with Burrows also impressed Hidalgo.
“He had big-name schools interested in him, but Coach Richt and Coach [Stacy] Searels, he trusted them,” Hidalgo said. “From the get-go, Georgia showed a lot of interest and even after the injury they were still committed to him.”
Burrows also cited a bond with Georgia defensive ends coach Jon Fabris.
“They have a great group of coaches,” Burrows said.