Joey Burkett to Missouri: Andrew Gachkar clone brings speed to OLB position

Name Joe Burkett
Position LB
Height, Weight 6'1, 200
City (School) Jefferson City, MO
Rating (Rivals) *** (5.6)
Rating (ESPN) *** (Grade: 78), No. 58 OLB
Twitter Handle @_joeburkett5_
2013 Depth Chart Burkett is certainly a bit on the light side, so one would assume he's a prime candidate for a redshirt and some weight gain. One could also see someone with his speed pretty quickly becoming a special teams weapon.
2014 Depth Chart With Andrew Wilson and Donovan Bonner graduating after 2013, there might be some playing time available at OLB.

"Joe is one of those guys that just has unbelievable closing speed," LePage said. "I'd think something was open, and he would shut down that avenue quickly. He's a dynamic player, and his athletcism really stands out when you see him play."

Burkett's athleticism stands out in multiple sports. Burkett is one of the state's best pole vaulters, but it's another sport that set the stage for Burkett to become an FBS defender.

"I would attribute a lot of his prowess to his gymnastics background," LePage said. "His father owns a gymnasium, and for as long as I've known Joey, he could do back handsprings, back tucks, push-ups just on his hands. Anything you can think of. That's where he got a lot of the athletcism, and I think that's done more to help him in football than anything else.

Burkett is very effective playing both the run and pass, displaying the range needed to make plays all over the field. Has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition. His frame appears capable of handling added bulk over time. This guy is a tough, aggressive tackler who allows very little yardage after contact; should be a very effective special team's coverage defender; also demonstrates the quickness and timing needed to come off the edge and block FG/PAT attempts. We see good movement in space; his hips appear flexible, allowing him to turn and change direction. […] This prospect plays with the motor and intensity needed to be very disruptive against both the run and pass. Burkett does not appear to be an immediate starter at the BCS level of play. However with added bulk prior to entering the collegiate ranks, early playing time is not out of the question.

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