football

Burke out to prove he belongs at Army Bowl

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MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl
Matt Burke knows it takes hard work to be a U.S. Army All-American.
On Monday, the West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman standout earned his U.S.
Army All-American jersey at a presentation in front of teammates, friends and
family.
"It was awesome," Burke said. "I'm very thankful to have this opportunity. All
of the hard work over the last four years finally paid off. I've had great
support along the way. It's a tremendous honor and I can't wait to play in the
game."
The three-star prospect hopes to improve his recruiting stock with a strong
performance at the game.
"I think this game will help me with recruiting," Burke said. "People have told
me a good game will help me. The schools that are talking to me have told me
they are happy to be recruiting an All-American."
Burke finished the year with 29 pass receptions for 343 yards and six touchdowns
while also adding a few sacks on defense.
Boise State,
Florida International and
San Diego State have offered among others. Now that the season is over, Burke plans
to focus on the recruiting process. He has an official visit set for Boise for
this weekend and then will scoot down to San Diego to visit the Aztecs on
Tuesday. 
Growing up, Burke didn't have a dream school. His brothers liked Miami, but he
had friends and family cheer for
Florida State and Florida. He
took an unofficial to the Swamp earlier this season to watch the Gators take on
South Carolina.
The reliable tight end has a 3.8 cumulative GPA and academics will play a factor
when choosing a school.
"I want to go to a school where I can make a good living and be successful,"
noted Burke.
On the field he tries to pattern his game after NFL star Rob Gronkowski. He says
opposing coaches compare him to Jimmy Graham and Jeremy Shockey.
One advantage he may have going to the next level is his understanding of the
game thanks to his head coach, Steve Walsh. Walsh won a national championship at
Miami and spent eleven seasons in the NFL with six different teams.
"I think playing for Coach Walsh has been great," Burke said. "He runs our
practices like a NFL and college practice. He has a ton of experience. Our
coaches do a good job with us."
For Burke he plans to put everything together in San Antonio to see how he
stacks up against the nation's best. It's an experience of a lifetime and he
said it's an "honor" to be a part of the game.
"I'm just thankful for the opportunity and to the men and women that serve our
country," Burke noted. "For me being an Army All-American is a great title to
have."
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