By Charles Prince
The North Jefferson News
MORRIS — John “Jabo” Burrow played in some big games during his high school career at Mortimer Jordan, but after Wednesday, he’s moving on to what many people consider the biggest and best conference in all of college football—the SEC.
Burrow signed a football scholarship with Vanderbilt Wednesday. The two-time North Jefferson News Defensive Player of the Year in both 2006 and 2007, could move from his defensive end spot once he’s on the Nashville campus.
“They told me I may play linebacker depending on what weight I come in at,” Burrow said. “The wanted me up to report at 235 or above to play on the defensive line.”
Burrow, who stands 6-foot-4, weighs 223 pounds currently, is planning to add more pounds to his frame before enrolling at Vandy.
Burrow stated he wouldn’t mind a switch back to linebacker, a position he played as a sophomore in high school, but he knows his best chance to avoid a redshirt season next year is by playing at end.
“The (Vandy) coaches told me the best chance for me to get in the rotation as a freshman is at defensive end,” Burrow said. “I’m hoping to be 235 by the time I graduate from Jordan and hopefully bulk up some from there.”
Burrow attend football camp at Vandy last June and during the week, he feel in love with the Commodores’ campus.
By the end of his stay, the Vandy coaches had offered Burrow a scholarship, which he accepted, cancelling planned trips to other camps, including one at the University of Alabama.
“I basically ended my recruiting process right there when they offered,” he said. “I liked the coaches. I liked the campus and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I didn’t know if I was good enough to be offered by an SEC school. All I knew was that I had a good junior year, but I knew weight-wise I was small and I didn’t know if I was on a lot of school’s radars.
“After my junior year, I was getting letters from a lot of schools, but not from any SEC schools. When Vanderbilt offered me, it was a huge surprise. As soon as they offered me, I knew I didn’t want to play anywhere else.”
As a senior in 2007, Burrow collected 136 tackles, his second straight season in excess of 100, which are high numbers for a defensive lineman.
In 2006, he helped the Blue Devils to the second round the 5A state playoffs and was named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 5A, first-team.
By Charles Prince