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August 11, 2012Fresh off the Commodores securing a surprising commitment from New Jersey corner Tre Bell, Vanderbilt gained its second linebacker commitment of the class when Virginia prep standout Oren Burks pledged for the Black and Gold.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound prospect announced his decision in front of a packed house of his friends and teammates at South County High School.
The Mustangs standout enjoyed a brilliant junior year, racking up 128 total tackles including 22 tackles that resulted in a loss and 11 sacks. He also returned an interception for a score and recovered three fumbles for touchdowns as well. He helped the young South County program reach the Group AAA Division 5 state title game before falling to Proebus.
Burks chose the Commodores over nearby Virginia and Virginia Tech as well as several other top and prestigious universities including Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Maryland, Miami, Nebraska, NC State, Penn State, Purdue, Syracuse and West Virginia.
Later Burks shared his decision with others on his Twitter account.
Committed to Vanderbilt!!! #AnchorDown. #VandyNation.
Burks visited Vanderbilt in mid-June on the weekend of the Commodores annual Cookout for top prospects. The multi-skilled performer spent time meeting with the Commodore coaches, current Vanderbilt players and even other Vanderbilt commitments and targets.
He later stayed a few extra days in Nashville to take a tour of the campus and sit in on some of the school's classes to get a better feel of the program as a whole.
He came away impressed and the Commodores climbed to the very top of his list. He remained tight lipped during much of his process following the visit and stayed away from interviews in the week leading up to his decision.
He ranks 42nd among outside linebackers according to Rivals.com and 21st among prospects from the state of Virginia.
Burks gives the Commodores a very rangy prospect that can cover lots of ground and get to the quarterback quickly. He possesses good overall speed and mobility and has the frame to add sufficient bulk in the coming years.
He joins Rivals250 inside linebacker Nigel Bowden as Commodore commitments.
Vanderbilt now has 18 verbal commitments for the 2013 class and moves to 16th in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings.
The Commodores may not be done for the weekend however, as two other prospects may decide by Monday.