True freshman Denzel Burke, the real deal

It’s not often you see a true freshman come into Ohio State and get a start at the defensive back position — injuries, and other off-the-field things can allow this to happen — but for Denzel Burke it was deserved this summer.

Burke was a four star recruit in Ohio State’s 2021 class and is looking like a ‘steal’ for this Buckeyes secondary.

Ohio State’s defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs met with the media this week and was asked if he ever imagined starting a true freshman at cornerback, and before the question was even finished Coombs said “no, no.”

Coombs went on to says he likes his corners to have a bit more experience before starting in a Big Ten game, but due to the absence of Cam Brown and Sevyn Banks, the Buckeyes needed someone to step up.

Burke took the field in Minneapolis Thursday night and did just that — he led the Buckeyes in pass breakups (3). — According to PFF/Eleven Warriors he also tied senior safety Josh Proctor for the most snaps among the Ohio State defensive backs Thursday night.

The typical true freshman would be nervous out there, but nothing fazed Burke and he was the only cornerback on the Buckeyes defense to earn a champion grade from the coaches on Monday.

Not only have the coaches been impressed with what he’s been able to bring to the team, the players have taken note of Burke’s abilities all summer long.

Wide receiver Chris Olave met with the media and said he’s a “huge fan” of Burke and said the true freshman is “one of the top guys we have at the cornerback position.”

“He’s a pro to me. In camp he’s running with the first team, he’s batting me and Garrett, talking mess, playing with his swag,” Olave said.

“He’s going to be great, so I can’t wait to see that.”

The Buckeyes have had some great defensive backs enter the NFL the past few seasons with names like Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, Jeff Okudah, Bradley Roby, Damon Arnette, Eli Apple, Kendall Sheffield, and Shaun Wade

It seems like the freshman from Scottsdale, AZ is heading towards that path.

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