The crop of offensive linemen at the recent SoCal NIKE Camp will be as good as we'll see at any camp this year. One player every scout had their eye on was Phoenix (Ariz.) Moon Valley standout Jaivorio Burkes and the talented lineman did not disappoint.
Of all the lineman we saw this past weekend, Burkes might have been both the player that's the most raw right now but with the most upside as well. At 6-4.5, 311 pounds, Burkes still has some baby fat on him but has great feet and incredible quickness for a player his size.
"This was really a great learning experience for me," Burkes said. "I had a lot of fun and learned so much that I didn't know before. I wasn't happy with how I tested but overall, I was happy with how I did here. I thought I did good in the position drills and the coaches here gave me a lot of encouragement and love after the camp."
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Burkes didn't start playing football until his sophomore year of high school but is described by his coach at Moon Valley as a freak athlete who can dunk a basketball standing still.
"He has a seven foot wing span and is one of the best athletes on our team," Moon Valley coach Roger Britson told us. "He's only played two years but has come so far already. He's a tremendous talent with NFL ability. He just needs to keep working but every college in America who has seen him has offered a scholarship already."
Watching Burkes move around was pretty jaw dropping. He doesn't look like he should be able to have the athleticism that he possesses. He's so light on his feet and it's scary to think how good he can be once he really dedicates himself to the weight room and learns how to really play the game. When the camp was over, he ran over to one of the goal posts, jumped up and started hanging from it. Several of the other lineman started joking around saying they hoped Burkes didn't break the goal post by hanging from it so long.
On the recruiting front, Burkes told us he has 29 offers right now and has five schools at the top of his list.
"I'm looking at Miami, Georgia, Tennessee, USC and Michigan, those are my top five right now," Burkes said. "I want to take all my trips before I make a decision and those are the five schools I would like to visit as of right now. Staying close to home or leaving the area, it doesn't matter to me. I just want to find a place where I'm comfortable with the coaches and the area and where I'll fit in over the next four or five years."