Ethan Burke, Wolverine

Ethan Burke, Wolverine

December 2, 2021
Austin (TX) Westlake defensive end Ethan Burke (image via 247 Sports)

Austin (TX) Westlake defensive end Ethan Burke committed to Michigan on Wednesday. Burke chose the Wolverines over offers from Baylor, Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Utah, among others.

Burke is listed at 6’7″ and 225 lbs.

3-star, 76 grade, #82 DE
4-star, 90 grade, #33 Edge
3-star SDE, 5.7 grade
247 Sports:
3-star, 87 grade, #42 Edge

Hit the jump for more on Burke’s commitment.

Burke was committed to Maryland for lacrosse and was not offered by Michigan for football until mid-November, toward the end of the high school season in Texas. He quickly scheduled an official visit for The Game against Ohio State. With the performances of Aidan Hutchinson (3 sacks) and David Ojabo (1 sack), that was probably a good show of how Burke might be used in Michigan’s defense. It only took him a few days to announce his decision.

Burke is a long, lanky player at this point and looks much like a college power forward. His length is mighty impressive, and he uses that wingspan to drag down ball carriers like cartoons use canes to yank people off stage. Everything is perfectly fine, and then yoink! you’re on the ground. At times he also uses that length to get a hand on shorter offensive linemen and prevent them from getting their hands on him.

Otherwise, Burke is a huge project from a technique standpoint. His stance is a little inconsistent and off-kilter, and he looks a little tentative when coming off the ball. This may be due to spending a lot of time playing lacrosse and not zeroing in on football like a lot of other kids do. He tries a spin move in his highlights, and I’ll give him an A for effort, but it’s telegraphed and slow. In general, he does not use his hands particularly well and needs to get a lot stronger.

Overall, Burke is a very interesting prospect, and Michigan has done pretty well with guys who are standout multi-sport athletes (basketball player Ronnie Bell, baseball player R.J. Moten, mogul skier Julius Welschof). I definitely like Burke as an athlete, and I believe he will be successful as long as he buys into The Process. It will take a couple years to bulk him up and teach him the technique necessary, but he’s a 6’7″ edge guy who can run. I think you take those guys whenever you can. If I were that guy, I would be champing at the bit to play the Hutchinson/Ojabo role as a guy who plays a wide 9 and just tears after the quarterback every play.

Michigan now has 19 commitments in the 2022 class. Burke is the second edge player, joining Kevonte Henry. Henry is a bit of a project, too, but I think Burke is a solid replacement for former commit Mario Eugenio (Cincinnati). Eugenio was more polished, but Burke has higher upside. Michigan has never had another player from Westlake High School.

TTB Rating: 83

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