By Ashley Denny.
GOOSE CREEK, SC- TCI had a chance to sit down with T.J. Burrell and his coach Chuck Reedy out of Goose Creek High School and spoke with them about T.J’s recruiting process and where Clemson stands with this talented outside linebacker.
Reedy, who spent 20 years coaching at the college level, coached at Clemson from 1977-1990, serving as running backs coach for the Tigers during their National Championship season.
What advice does Reedy give to his elite senior?
“I tell him and all of my other guys getting recruited just to go where they’re going to be happy,” Reedy said. “You’re the one that has to be there for 4-5 years, so go where you feel comfortable and fit in. When I was on the other end, recruiting, I just told guys that when they visit the school that they end up choosing there’s going to be a special feeling there. I don’t care where any of them go, I just want T.J. and all of the other boys just to go where they feel comfortable and happy.”
Reedy, who has coached Burrell for all of the six years that he’s been in Goose Creek’s program, knew from the beginning that this particular player would be special.
“The first time that I had any encounter with T.J. was when he was in the 8th grade,” Reedy said. “He was very impressive then, mature for his age, he would have played a great deal as a freshman but got injured, and became a full time starter as a 10th grader.”
What is Burrell like on the field?
Coach Reedy has only one word to describe how Burrell is on the field, “intense.”
“TJ is the kind of guy that does everything full speed,” Reedy said. “He practices hard every day, a good example of what we’re trying to do with our program and a very good player on Friday nights.”
Although Reedy does not see Burrell as a vocal, outspoken leader on the team, he believes that he leads by example and other players follow his lead.
When speaking with Burrell, it became obvious very quickly that Clemson is recruiting this linebacker hard.
“I’ve visited Clemson five times,” Burrell said. “I like it up there, it’s a great atmosphere, town, city, it’s all about the school and I love that, I have a great relationship with the coaches and just really feel at home up there.”
His favorite part of his Clemson visit, was when he was able to put on a Clemson jersey and run down the hill on Junior Day.
“Doing that felt good,” Burrell said. “It felt like I was part of the team already which is crazy feeling.”
Burrell who has three other offers, from South Carolina, Duke and Vanderbuilt, has enjoyed the recruiting process so far however has found that it gets heavier as the process goes along.
What’s Burrell’s strongest quality that makes him recruitable?
“I’d have to say it’s my diversity,” Burrell said. “I can run which most linebackers can’t, and I can play in between the tackles and make big plays, and cover wide receivers as well.”
What does Burrell look for when he visits colleges?
“I try to think about where I’d want to go to school if I wasn’t playing football,” Burrell said. “Somewhere that feels like home and good relationships with the coaches, I want to go where the coaches will push me to not only become a better player but better person.”