3 freshmen for Texas football ready to breakout in Big 12 play

Ethan Burke, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Ethan Burke, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Ethan Burke, EDGE

Among the early impact true freshmen on the defensive side of the ball for PK and the Longhorns this fall is the former underrated three-star recruit and ex-Michigan Wolverines commit Ethan Burke. This first-year edge rusher clearly has a pretty high level of trust that he’s earned with the defensive staff early in his collegiate career.

Burke has the second-most defensive snaps of any true freshmen for the Longhorns so far this season. And he’s truly made his mark in a limited role out of the gates this season.

In just under three dozen defensive snaps through three weeks, Burke has registered four combined tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, three stops, three quarterback pressures, and one quarterback hit. But he also has three missed tackles under his belt this season, two of which came defending the run.

It’s clear that the 6-foot-7 Burke could make a big impact on this pass rush for years to come. The main question for him will be whether he can step up and make an impact for Texas in Big 12 play for the remainder of this season.

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I’m a believer in what Burke can bring to the table for PK and the Longhorns in Big 12 play. He’ll have an uphill battle in front of him to continue to earn key live-game defensive snaps at the jack end position behind Sorrell.

Yet, the fact that Burke already has three quarterback pressures and one QB hit in just nine snaps as a pass rusher is very encouraging in terms of the havoc he can wreak in the opposing team’s backfields. He’ll likely still be utilized as a rotational pass rusher at the outset of Big 12 play, and his potential could continue to grow from there.