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Growing up in Fairfax Station, VA...

I was blessed to have two loving parents, Orlanda and Wanda Burks, along with one younger sister Whitney.

 

My parents taught my sister and I the importance of education while also being fierce competitors in our respective sports. In my early years I played soccer, baseball, and basketball, which actually was my main sport going into high school. I learned to love the game of football after starting to play my freshman year at South County HS, located in Lorton, VA. With the game of football, my coaches, teammates, and close friends challenged me to develop a strong work ethic and learn the value of being a true team player.

My parents taught my sister and I the importance of education while also being fierce competitors in our respective sports.”

Throughout my high school football career I played everything from Safety, Linebacker, Tight End, Wide Receiver, and even some Defensive End. Initially, I was hesitant to make these position changes because I thought it would hurt my chances of earning a scholarship to play college athletics. My junior year, I quickly realized that this was not the case. After a 0-3 start, my team went on to compete in the Virginia 5A State Championship game. Following this 2012 season, offers from schools started to roll in.

Through the recruiting process, I ultimately decided that Vanderbilt University would be the place for me. I was drawn to Vanderbilt because of its world class education (ranked by U.S. News as the #15 Best Colleges in the Nation), the vibrant city of Nashville, and the opportunity to play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

During my time at Vanderbilt I gained 4 years of starting experience at 3 different positions which include Safety, Star (hybrid OLB/S), and Inside Linebacker. Over my career I totaled 237 Tackles, 15.5 TFL, 4.5 Sacks, 5 Interceptions, and 21 PBU. On top of this, I proved myself to be a leader on the team and was voted captain for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

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Off the field, I decided that I wanted to be intentional...

about serving my community and making a lasting impact on the people around me. Some of the clubs and organizations I partnered with include:

 
 
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Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)

PRESIDENT, FOOTBALL REPRESENTATIVE
Served as a liaison between Vanderbilt Student-Athletes and University Administration.

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REVAMP

CO-FOUNDER, ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR
REVAMP stands for Revitalizing and Empowering Vanderbilt's African-American Male Population. Our mission is to promote community amongst the African-American male population on Vanderbilt’s campus while dispelling negative stereotypes in society through informative events and service.

 

 

Awards & Accolades

  • 2017 National Football Foundation C.R. Bickerstaff & Bill Pace Scholar Award
  • 2017 Senior CLASS Award nominee
  • 2016 Wooden Citizenship Cup finalist
  • 2016 Allstate-AFCA Good Works Team recipient
  • 2016 Wuerffel Trophy nominee
  • 2016 Vanderbilt Outstanding Senior Award finalist
  • 14’,15’,16’,17’ SEC Academic Honor Roll