South County High School linebacker Oren Burks signed a letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to attend Vanderbilt University this fall. Burks, the 2013 South County Homecoming king, signed the letter after school in a matter of moments, and the act was followed by loud applause from a large crowd of his classmates. He'll receive a full scholarship this fall.
"It's been a long journey, and I can go so much further with the support around me," said Burks, who stands at 6'4", and 205 lbs. "It's a big day… I want to thank everyone for coming out."
South County Football Coach Gerard Pannoni beamed as Burks signed the letter. "Hopefully we'll get to see you perform on TV some day," he said.
Parents Orlanda and Wanda Burks also signed the document. "We are really excited," said Wanda. "Oren has been a great kid and he's going to a great school. You can't ask for more."
Burks received offers from 15 schools, including the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State and Duke.
His athletic honors to-date include:
- 2012 Washington Post 1st Team All-Met Defense selection
- 2012 Chesapeake Bowl All-Star Game selection
- 2012 Runner-up Northern Virginia Region Defensive Player of the Year
- 2012 1st Team All Northern Virginia Region Linebacker
- 2012 Patriot District Defensive Player of the Year
- 2012 1st Team All Patriot District linebacker
- 2012 USA Today Preseason Defense All-Area Player
Burks will study human organizational development and hopes to play in the National Football League. "If it happens it happens. I'm just taking every day as it goes," he said.
Incidentally, Burks' sister, Whitney, is a star softball player at South County. She's a junior, and has already verbally agreed to attend Stanford University.
Read more on the Burks family here.