2021 safety Burks commits to IU

Indiana has kept its run of Florida-born safeties going with a commit from 2021 prospect Aubrey Burks on Friday.

Burks, a three-star recruit from Auburndale, follows the likes of Jonathan Crawford, Jamar Johnson, Devon Matthews, Khalil Bryant, Juwan Burgess, and Josh Sanguinetti in making his way from the Sunshine State to IU.

A quick-twitch, instinctive athlete, Burks had offers from Louisville, USF, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Georgia Tech, among others.

Burks has a unique skillset that could make him useful both inside and outside the box for the Hoosiers. He had 63 tackles as a junior at Auburndale, and 17 of those were for loss. Six of those were sacks, and he also forced three fumbles and picked off two passes.

With his commitment, the Hoosiers now have two defensive back commits from Florida for 2021. Another three-star safety, Larry Smith, who will most likely play corner at IU, hails from Orange Park.

Burks, a 6-foot, 180-pounder, is rated as the No. 95 prospect in Florida by 247Sports. Smith sits at No. 203.

This is a change from IU’s 2020 class, which was without a Florida recruit for the first time in a decade. That appears to be just a blip for Tom Allen, who was once a defensive coordinator at USF. IU special teams coach Kasey Teegardin, who coaches the hybrid “husky” position Burks could play, has had success recruiting in Florida, as well.

IU’s new safeties coach, Jason Jones, spent the 2019 season at Florida Atlantic.

In the 2021 class, the Hoosiers now have 10 verbal commitments. Three are on the defensive side of the football, including Valparaiso defensive end Cooper Jones.

Here is Burks’ junior year highlight film on Hudl:


  1. Another good commitment for IUFB, although his rating at 5.6 does drop the APR down from 3.25 to 3.22. Would love to see a couple for 4*’s come to solidify a 3.25 or above final APR. If I remember correctly, TA is committing to keeping this class relatively small, so the hoped for quality will be crucial.

  2. Burk looks like a very good recruit that fits a real need for the Hoosiers. Keep good players coming and IU will improve in the B1G.

    1. For sure like his obvious on field aggression. Got to have a couple of them on the field every play.

  3. I wonder if a player’s rating is influenced by the competition he’s surrounded by? Does playing FB in the talent rich state of Florida, where a kid is surrounded by a large number of very gifted athletes, affect his rating? If Burks played HS FB in Indiana, would his rating be higher? A college FB coach once told me that an All-Conference FB player in Florida is equivalent to an All-State kid in Indiana. Conversely, he said that an All-conference BB player from Indiana is the equivalent to and All-State BB player from Florida. Not sure if that’s true, but it’s an interesting hypothesis.

    I’m reminded of IU’s rising-star cornerback. I don’t remember him being very highly rated coming out of HS, but he’s rapidly becoming one of the better cornerbacks in the Big Ten, if not the entire country.

    1. Po,
      I wouldn’t be surprised if you are right in a number of sports. While it may be difficult for Hoosiers to understand when it comes to football, if you reverse it to basketball it makes all the sense in the world. I’ve seen some kids in the southern talent hot spots be totally overlooked by the majors go on to HOF carriers in the nfl.

    2. PO, you are right about the difference in the ratings and Mullen is a great example of how a 3 star can be as good or better than many some 5 star players. Finding those gems is what IUFB has to do right now to improve and move up in the B1G. IU has a number of players that are better than their rankings would indicate.

        1. I agree with V13, so here’s my list of guys playing way above their ranking: William Bedford, Stevie Scott, Peyton Hendershot, Whop Philyor, Micah McFadden, Caleb Jones, Demarcus Elliot and Tiawan Mullen. I’ll add freshman Damarjhe Lewis because he is going to be a star on the d line.

          1. Great list that I mostly agree with. Lewis will get four full games to make a case to burn his year, but he’s probably in the two deep by the first game, which means he’ll play all year more than likely.

        2. On defense McFadden, Jones, Sio while on offense Bedford, Hendershot, Whop, Crider, Jones, Ellis, Fryfogle, Scott. IU has had a number in the past that definitely played better than rated. I hope a few show this year they are far better than their rating.

    3. PO, I get the point your college football coach was trying to make, but I think those analogies are hard to swallow. Ten or twelve teams in a HS conference cf. hundreds of HS teams in a state?

      1. Davis,
        I don’t think the college football coach Po was speaking to is as far off on his comments as one might believe. A lot depends on the perspective one is viewing things from. Growing up in Indiana and then moving to a talent rich football region does change one’s perspective. I will tell you it was an astounding revelation that shook my perspective of the Indiana HS level of football which I had previously thought was on par with any other state. It also explains why I view SEC football from the perspective I now do with the talent pool they are able to pull from. However, on the basketball side of the coin . . . there’s nothing out there like Indiana HS basketball!

  4. I suppose pretty much every team including elites think or hopefully find over achieving/performing star gems in each class of their recruits. Then, there are also the under achieving/performing stars in each class of recruits for every team due to whatever reason including injury. So in conclusion, I suppose the teams in the middle of the pack and towards the bottom can play games on the field to see who is most successful at player development, over performance, and achieving to get desired results mainly against each other that may include a significant win against a powerhouse team. The sustained balance of power will still remain with the few teams at the top of the food chain in recruiting and coaching etc.

    1. You’re right, I’m tired of 10-2 Minnesota dominating the standings. Now they have the #15 recruiting class. We’ll never be able to compete with their history and amazing Minnesota weather.

      1. 123,

        2 major holes in your rather cynical response. First, if Minny was playing the in the B1G east, I seriously doubt their record would have been 10-2, probably closer to maybe 8-4. Second, do you realize what IUFB’s team standing would be if TA had the need to recruit as many players as MN? If IUFB had recruited 16 players at their current 3.22 apr level, IUFB would be close to the #10 spot. Which is why the class ranking must always come 2nd in our concerns, the apr is crucial but the ranking skews based on the number of recruits.

        1. tai, always makes me chuckle that straightforward fact never gets absorbed very deep. Certainly not deep enough to eliminate class ranking tears in future posts. Allen doesn’t have recruiting there yet but his offer list is always higher.

          1. I know HC,

            You are right, it is hard to get the casual observer to understand that it is the apr which is important. Does anyone think that UM (your favorite meatchickens) at # 4 with a 3.42 apr on 19 recruits is having as good a recruitment year as OSU with an apr of 3.94 on 18 recruits at #1. Even if OSU only 10 recruits at a 3.94 and was ranked in the #12-#17 range, they would still have a better quality class than UM. Or better yet, is UM having as good a year as Alabama with a 3.88 apr on 8 recruits sitting at the #29 ranking? I guarantee you, I will take Alabama’s 8 players over UM’s 19 any day.

            Biggest thing TA needs to do is get the number of players you need, but keep pushing that APR higher. Which he is doing.

        2. Think- you either missed the point or ignored the point to be self-serving. Minnesota has no advantage over IU in football but managed a 10 win season and might go 11-1 this year. The rankings are determined by both the player’s skill rating and the amount the player’s position contributes to winning. Both factors matter- enough said. If Minnesota can get players, IU can get players. It is not a fait accompli that IU cannot challenge for the upper tier of the B1G. Now, seriously, you should either change your moniker to something more appropriate such as non sequitur, or start living up to your moniker- how’s bout putting some actual thought into your responses?

          1. 321,
            Speaking of ignoring points . . . if you think UM could go 11-1 in the B1G east, your bandying about of a few words leaves much for one to wonder about the thought process. UM was very fortunate to catch its toughest B1G east opponent (PSU) as a home game and was again very fortunate to narrowly beat them. Play that one over in Happy Valley and see how it would turn out. 2019 scheduling benefited Minny as much as it did IUFB, except IUFB has to play in the east. Wonder what they could have done if they had played in the west?

            As for 2020, if the season is played, I have no crystal ball. However, it is interesting to note they again have a very favorable schedule playing their toughest B1G east opponent (UM) at home. They do get to go to Camp Randall to play Wisky who handed them a significant loss in the ’19 season on the Gophers home field. Can Minny go 11-1 in 2020, maybe, but then again how many times has B1G west champion showed up with a sparkling record (mainly wisky) only to have their helmets handed to them by the B1G east champion?

          2. I see that Miniaturesota palys Wisconsin on Oct. 10 this year. Didn’t that used to be the big rivalry/season finale for those teams?

          3. Although I agree IU can get to the higher level of recruits to say MN has no edge on IU isn’t factual. IU and coach Allen haven’t been given a show on ESPN like MN and coach Fleck did a couple years ago. Add in MN’s history along with 9 and 10 win seasons before Fleck took over and he has a big advantage in recruiting over IU, at least right now.

  5. Coach Allen doesn’t spend any time thinking about apr, think. Casual fans can debate those made up metrics, but its not on the radar of our staff. It’s about fit, the ability to develop physically, handle the rigors of big 10 football and academics while being away from home, to take hard coaching, to fit with the team, and a bunch of other stuff. They don’t evaluate on highlight tapes or use apr for anything.

    1. BD,
      On the contrary, I do not disagree with you at all. It it very obvious that TA is recruiting a specific type of athlete to fit the IUFB system he envisions. It just so happens that in the course of recruiting those type athletes their capabilities are reflected in the apr. It is no accident that the rising apr numbers under TA also coincide with improving FB fortunes. Whether or not those fortunes continue to improve are contingent on several factors including a fair amount of scheduling luck (which has not been IUFB’s historical fortune), excellent coaching up of IUFB recruits, and continued improving apr’s over the long haul. The apr is only a reflection of what is actually happening not something TA & Staff recruit by.

  6. Minnesota may now find itself at a significant disadvantage in recruiting as a result of the social unrest taking place in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. There is no way I would send my kid to a school located in Minneapolis or Seattle after what has been going on over the last month or so. Those cities are no longer safe, and with police officers retiring and resigning in droves, or being hobbled in their ability to do their jobs, those cities are going to become less safe in the months ahead.

    1. PO, I agree with you and parents let their sons go there they are not very good parents. The leftist/Dems are buying into it, and it would destroy our country. They think capitalism is bad without understanding, the Dems have 9 out of 10 richest, that the capitalism isn’t capitalism but it requires competition and the gov’t shouldn’t let corporations get so more control over economy by democrat people leading most corporations. They hate Trump without understanding he is helping people that are average people and removing regulations that stop minorities to start business and taking steps to change the legal system to not use laws to give people too much time for most crimes. Make legal marijuana and the number going to prison would drop. It would also bring even more blacks to Trump and keep the left from winning. I personal would make criminal gangs [most of them are] illegal and get them off the streets that regular blacks are afraid of and keep them from forcing kids to join them.

      One of these days we would start getting more football news and not have other news that is about something else.

      1. “regular blacks”….? Might want to quit while ahead on the political topics, V.

    2. Did anyone catch the Bloomington mayor talking about a lynching nearly happening somewhere near Lake Monroe….? Is their any truth to that Yahoo story?

      Let’s not pretend Southern Indiana is safer than anywhere else. Martinsville has much KKK history only 15 minutes to the north. Not to mention some to the college girls who have been murdered or gone missing.

      I may just take a place with more protesting than a deserted place in the hills and woods with lots of unemployed ‘good ol’ boys’ with too much time on their hands.
      Bloomington is made much safer by the student numbers….But with a pandemic, the isolation and sparseness isn’t really a plus.

  7. I do business all over the western half of the U.S. Part of that involves attending large trade shows and conferences, which are usually held in a city’s Convention Center, located in the heart of the inner city. My company recently announced that even after COVID-19 ends, we will not attend any trade shows or conferences held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, or Portland in the foreseeable future. And I believe that list of cities will expand. When these cities start to lose all their convention business, it’s going to be an expensive and painful wake-up call to the elected officials who have overseen the dissolution of public safety. Now imagine, after the pandemic subsides, if people stop attending college sporting events held in cities like Minneapolis and Atlanta (GA Tech). Playing FB and BB in communities like Bloomington will look better and better.

    1. Po,
      Here’s another thing the elected “geniuses” in these cities haven’t considered, if there is no police or fire protection guess what else will pull out across the board? I’ll give you a hint, “Like a good neighbor” ain’t gonna be there for anybody in those areas.

    2. PO, any such losses of business and employment will be counterbalanced by corporations who want to attract the most value-producing workers. Consider that for some time now our colleges are churning out well-trained (not the same as well-educated) young people indoctrinated in the virute-signaling miasma that passes for intelligent. A miasma which has given us things like the “autonomous zone” in Seattle. It’s plain that businesses will continue to flock to cities where slogans such as “defund the police” pass for political discourse so that they can attract recent college grads.

      1. I had a very bad experience with a Chicago cop when I was 16 years old….There are great police officers but it only takes one very bad experience to fester a lot of distaste. This cop didn’t assault me or anything….I know nothing of what true dangers lurk in a system not built for ‘justice for all.’
        It was just violent speech from a very mean SOB who had no business wearing the uniform. He was basically acting like a thug toward a kid. I was working on a delivery truck for my father and had merely accidentally parked where I wasn’t supposed to…The cop used an opportunity in an alley to verbally berate (‘F’ words galore and insults) a decent kid when he was left alone.
        Place that in the mind of a kid who knows much of the justice system is already against him/her? There is nothing political about being a decent person.

        1. H4H,
          I am very sorry to hear of your experience with a Chicago PD officer. This should never happen, but unfortunately, does happen. I know there can be many factors in why such officers should behave in such a way. We don’t know why, he could have been simply as you describe, someone who should have never been on the force.

          However, there is only one thing which I find in the entire national discussion, and that is these actions seem to continually happen in the usual suspect cities. One thing I have always found to be true is the officer on the street reflects those who run the town. When we see systemic problems with local law enforcement we also see systemic problems with an entrenched political philosophy of the local city government. Many try to obscure this little factoid but what you see on the street is a reflection of who is running city hall, and usually, it is the same type people who have been running it the same way for a very long time.

          1. Not that big of deal…Just a memory that stuck.

            I’ve also had some good experiences…Had a sheriff’s dept. officer stop on a very dangerous stretch of I-65 to help me change a flat tire. He got an X-shaped lug nut changer out of his trunk (made the job much faster) and kept his vehicle 20 yards behind my car until I got the job done (with semi-trucks whizzing by).

  8. Indianapolis has to be at least on watch list whether it is safe to attend conferences.

  9. Well, not to get into politics, but if one of Indiana’s current Senators has his way, it will soon be possible for police officers to be sued in Civil Court. And that will cause thousands of police officers across the country to retire early or just outright quit. Gun sales will skyrocket and those “ambulance chasing” lawyers will get rich(er). Imagine what the ambulance-chasers would do to a police officer and his/her family in a civil court! Cops, or their police unions would go bankrupt just paying the legal fees necessary to defend themselves against bogus civil lawsuits. The Senator from Indiana may have a brain tumor, or maybe he’s suffering from a really bad case of “moronitis,” but my guess is that he will be “primaried” in his next election and lose badly. In the mean time, he better hope he and his immediate family don’t violate any traffic laws.

  10. I hope the moron gets knocked out in the primary as I will vote against him. His going along with that law is idiotic and not thinking ahead. If he thinks this is a good idea then he is foolish.

  11. If you’ve heard him try to explain why he supports this idea, you had to realize he’s not smart enough to recognize just how stupid it is. He’s another example that the best and the brightest in this country have long since stopped running for public office.

  12. PO. Miny situation or variations of it can pop up anytime anywhere in today’s societal climate.

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