Fans hoping to get a handle on the University of Louisville’s quarterback situation during the spring scrimmage came away more confused than ever, with Justin Burke, the player who seemed to have an edge, getting lost in the shuffle.
Probably a long shot, but some diehards, including this observer, may have been hoping that part of coach Steve Kragthorpe’s plan was to create confusion, possibly for opposing coaches in the crowd. Nah, coaches don’t do that.
Burke is one of the most intriguing prospects, hailing from Lexington Catholic, practically playing in the shadows of Commonwealth Stadium. Initially chose to play for North Carolina State, which has been on the ropes in recent years. Then decided to come to Louisville, sitting out last season because of the NCAA’s Division I transfer requirements.
The Justin Burke U of L fans want to see is the one described on an ESPN recruiting site in 2006, and having had a couple of years to work on any perceived deficiencies:
Burke is an accurate, efficient passer that has been extremely productive and efficient throughout his career. Has a quick release and does a good job of seeing the whole field and he makes sound pre-snap reads. Shows good timing and touch on short and intermediate routes. Shows the ability to consistently find his “hot” receiver and beat the blitz. Has good touch on the deep ball and can drop the ball in over coverage.
He does not possess an elite arm, but he shows adequate velocity and he gets rid of the ball quickly and avoids unnecessary hits in the pocket. Can beat the rush with his release. Has quick feet, shows good pocket awareness and will buy some extra chances within the pocket. He is an excellent passer on the run especially to his right side. Is a mature, intelligent leader and is a polished passer at this level. He has some of the intangibles that you can’t coach and has a natural feel for the game.
He is an excellent prospect for a “spread” offense and has operated in a sound offensive scheme at the high school level. Is listed at six-foot-three, but appears shorter than that. He should gain some needed bulk once he enters college and look for his arm strength to improve as well, but his lack of arm may limit his potential at the college level.