The college football offseason is a time of change. Teams change as coaches change, and thanks to the transfer portal, more players than ever are changing teams.
This is also a time when players can change, especially the number they will wear. Every off-season, a few players from each team change their shirt numbers, especially younger players who probably didn’t start their careers with the number they wanted.
Looks like that’s the case for Ohio State’s sophomore cornerback Denzel Burk. After wearing No. 29 as a true freshman a year ago, a number he was likely given when he arrived in Columbus, not the one he chose, Burke hinted that he will wear No. 5 for the Buckeyes in 2022. Wedge tweeted a photo of his locker Friday with his name, the number “05” and the caption “#Godsplan.”
— Denzel Burk (@King10Burke) June 3, 2022
Burke was a four-star recruit, the eighth athlete in the nation and the 196th overall prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite, from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He chose Scarlet and Gray from scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, LSU, Nebraska, Oregon and others.
As one of the lowest-rated players in Ohio State’s class of 2021, which ranked No. 2 in the nation, Burke was not expected to be a major factor as a true freshman. . In fact, the Buckeyes had four high school members — corners Jakailin Johnson and Jordan Hancock and securities André Turrentin and Jantzen Dunn – ranked higher than Burke in his class.
Still, Burke enrolled early, got a campus, and was impressed. Coaches and players spoke of Burkes’ fearlessness to take on Scarlet and Gray stars such as Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson early in practice, something he credits with getting him ready to play for Ohio State in 2021.
Coming into the season, Bruke was the No. 1 cornerback for the Buckeyes and didn’t give up the job throughout the year. Burke finished his freshman season playing in all 13 games and being on the field for the most snaps of any defensive player. He recorded 35 total tackles, 12 pass breakups, and one interception which he returned for a touchdown, earning third-team All-Big Ten honors.
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If Burke takes the No. 5 jersey back, he has big shoes to match the rest of his Scarlet and Gray career. Some notable names to wear this number include quarterback Braxton Millercorner Chimdi Chekwawide receivers Johnnie DixonJoey Galloway and Wilson, linebacker Raekwon McMillan and running back Michael Wiley.