Prior stories in this series: ATH (QB) Dennis Andrews, ATH (QB) Justin Thomas, WR Michael Summers, ATH (RB) Marcus Allen, DE Francis Kallon, WR Travin Henry, DT Adam Gotsis, LB Beau Hankins, DT Pat Gamble, DB Anthony Autry , and LB Tyler Stargel.
Commitment #15 for this year's class came on Sunday, January 15 in the form of the 6'3", 290lb beast from Statesboro, GA, OL Freddie Burden. He committed at the end of one of the Jackets' biggest recruiting weekends of the year, when there were a lot of commitments and other recruits making official visits. After working hard to try and earn an offer for a few months, Burden was informed the day before that he would be getting a formal scholarship offer and to think it over and have a solid answer the following morning when it was offered to him. Upon being offered, he immediately committed, and revealed something that we all like to hear from a high school kid: when asked why he picked Georgia Tech, he responded "It's one of the best combinations of college football and education you can get." Gosh, that warms my heart. Anyways, another fun fact about Burden is that he's been best friends with another of our recruits for most of his life, as he and WR Michael Summers have grown up together, playing football together their entire lives and attending the same high school. When he committed, he picked Tech over Middle Tennessee State and a few FCS offers, but he was receiving serious interest from Florida, and reportedly was soon to be offered by them. Just one more instance of Tech coaches finding talent before others do. So clearly if Florida was excited about his potential as an O-Lineman, then we should be too!
Burden will start out at center for us, but could move to guard or even tackle. He seems a little big to play tackle for us (not sure how mobile he could be at 290lbs), but certainly has good size for an interior lineman. I couldn't for the life of me find any decent film on him on Youtube or anywhere else (searching 'Freddie Burden' turns up one video where you can hardly see what he's doing, followed by about 100 videos of Senate sessions....), but if I recall correctly from the film they showed us at National Signing Day, he can really bring the pain to defenders down in the trenches. He's really strong, and while I could see his height creating a couple issues with throwing solid cut blocks, he without question can drop some nasty pancake blocks. I recall also watching him in both run blocking and pass protection, and seeing him demonstrate his strength well in both by driving back defenders in the running game and holding them off and providing the QB time in the passing game lead me to believe that he can really contribute a lot to us on the O-Line in his time at Tech. You wanted bigger O-Linemen, and we got one! Welcome to the Flats, Freddie!
As mentioned before, I could not for the life of me find any decent film on him, so you'll need to take my word on it that he's a satisfactory lineman. What's that? You don't want to take my word for it? Well I have 3 words for you.