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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Burke is officially gone: Transferring to Lousiville



Well, it wasn't tough to see this one coming. As soon as Tom O'Brien eliminated him (and Harrison Beck) from the running of the quarterback position, it was clear that Burke was either going to have to give up any chance of playing time at State or look elsewhere.

Can't blame him for taking the latter.


After sitting out a year at Louisville, he'll have two years of eligibility remaining. By all accounts Burke was a tremendous student and was well ahead of schedule in getting his degree here at State.

Burke's story is an interesting one. As one of the better QB prospects in the 2006 class (#19 nationally according to Scout), a lot of folks (myself included) thought that Burke was the future of the football program. He has decent size, decent speed and was known to be a heady, between-the-ears player. State fans hadn't seen a cerebral QB since Rivers, and Burke looked poised to be that next tactician on the field.

He also seemed the perfect fit for Marc Trestman's West Coast Offense, which relied heavily on quick reads and short throws. But Burke was victimized somewhat by bad timing. He redshirted his freshman campaign in what would be Trestman's final year with the program. Trestman was given his walking papers along with Chuck Amato following the 2006 season, and Burke's spent his RS-Freshman year transitioning from a West Coast style to O'Brien's more traditional pro style.

Ultimately, it appears, Burke never fit into O'Brien's QB mold. I think Burke lost a little heart along the way, as well. That's just speculation on my part, but I never got the sense that Burke burned for the starting QB job the last couple of years. Again, speculation.

Now our eyes shift to Beck. Will he stay? Will he go? I wouldn't be surprised with either decision--he's already transferred once from a BCS school and may not be looking to pack his bags again. But it's clear he's not going to see the field, short of all three of the QBs ahead of him keeling over, so he may decide to transfer for playing time. We shall see...

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