October 28, 2009

Official Visitor Something of a Surprise

For quite some time there had been an assumption that Oklahoma's linebacker recruiting was done with the early commitments of Jarrett Lake, Rashod Favors, and Aaron Franklin. However it seems that may not be the case as evidenced by Culver City, California Victor Burnett's visit to Norman this weekend.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound three-star linebacker recently set up a trip with Sooner linebackers coach Brent Venables.

"I'm coming out on Friday," Burnett said. "Coach Venables has done a great job keeping in touch with me. He is expressing their great need for linebackers and that they want me to be a part of the Oklahoma team."

Often players come in from California with a strange expectation of what they may see when they make it to The Sooner State. In the case of Burnett he isn't too worried about a change of scenery as he has at least something to compare Oklahoma to.

"I'm not a stranger to the South my mom is from Florida and practically my whole family is out there, I'm kind of in-tune to the way things work in the South," he said. "People out here are kind of to their selves. In Oklahoma I'm expecting a little more hospitality and when I say hi to somebody to see them smile back and not act like you're crazy."

When it comes to the South, few things are more synonymous than college football as more than a few states shut down on Saturday afternoons. It's this type of passion that has Burnett most interested about seeing the Sooners on a game weekend.

"I want to see the game atmosphere, I just want to see how things work on a gameday. And since football season only lasts a certain amount of time, I want to see what you do after football season," he explained. "I don't like staying in the house that much, there are a lot of things to do you just have to make the best of it and I'm anxious to see what type of activities are in Norman."

The nation's No. 21 inside linebacker says his education is also a key element of his decision as he plans to decide on majoring either in marketing, communications or psychology.

He is working to accumulate information on each of the three professions during his senior year at Culver City.

"It's in a see-saw between three, marketing, communications, or psychology. I'm taking a psych class in high school and I'm an intern for the president of marketing and communications for Fox," he said. "My stepmother works at Fox and then he gave me the interview because I'm a football player but I'm also the school president."

A linebacker winning a popularity contest? Dick Butkus say it ain't so.

"There is a class president of every class and then there is a student body president," he said. "I always feel I should broaden my horizons and people said I might not be able to do it.

"I like overcoming goals that people think you can't achieve. I like taking things on and staring adversity right in the face."

Burnett may be enjoying a senior season full of personal accolades both on the field and off of it but recently suffered quite a scare that could have effected not just his high school life but his entire future.

"I got hit in my knee, but I got my MRI results today actually. I got hit straight in my knee by a free safety and somehow it ends up nothing is wrong with my knee I just pulled the bottom of my calf," he said. "My knee wasn't swollen they thought it was the PCL but it ended up not even being that.

"I'm really fortunate."

Burnett's Oklahoma visit will be the second of his five allowed official visits after visiting Washington last month for the LSU game. He came away with a very strong impression of first year head coach Steve Sarkisian.

"It went well, coach Sarkisian is a great dude, they are a younger staff and they had a good chemistry. I want to know the coaching staff is still going to be there when I graduate," he said. "The players reflect the coaching staff that they have.

"Seattle is a cool city. There are a lot of things to do out there; it's a calmer atmosphere than Los Angeles where I live. Actually it seems like a mini-version of it. It's calm and you can go out and do certain things that you can't do out here."

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