Lakeview Centennial 2020 S Garnett Burke Jr. (5-11, 170) returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown to set the tone in a 63-23 blowout district win over Garland on Thursday.
The win moved the Patriots to 5-2 in 2019 with a pivotal match-up versus Sachse on deck.
"We focused on becoming a family," Burke Jr. reported when asked about his team's success in 2019.
"It helps a lot because that's the same person you are going to war with not only on game day, but at practice, in the weight room, film study, and those are ways you have to hold each other accountable. Our success as a team is not a surprise; this is something we worked for, and it's all in our favor."
Burke Jr. is an all-district safety, but he is also used on offense and special teams.
"My coach is just using that ability of me more this year because I can help my team in a lot of ways," Burke Jr. explained.
"The ball doesn't get thrown my way at all on the defensive side, so when I get the chance, I make sure I'm still on top of my game to make that play."
"I have improved my game a lot as a senior," Burke Jr. continued. "Not only my skills and techniques but I have studied harder in film, became more verbal on the field, and showed my leadership on and off the field as well. I'm just making everyone around me better."
Burke Jr. committed to North Texas in early June, but still sees interest from Arkansas State (offer), Southern Miss (offer), Oklahoma State, Purdue and Wake Forest.
Burke Jr. could play safety or corner at the next level and believes the Mean Green defensive scheme will give him a chance to show his versatility on the field.
"UNT sees me as a perfect fit for there defense," Burke Jr. informed. "It (the defensive scheme) gives me an opportunity to fly around and make plays on the ball, (and) makes plays stopping the run. It's a good fit for my game because it gives me the opportunity to play how I love to play and only get better learning from a great coaching staff."
Burke Jr. plans to take his official visit to North Texas at some point this Winter before signing on National Signing Day in December or February. He has already made multiple unofficial visits to the campus and seems to feel pretty comfortable there.
"I will most likely take it (official visit) after football is over," Burke Jr. said. "I will say either late December or sometime in January. I'm just really looking for the vibe due to me being up there so much. It has turned into a family atmosphere and a lot of love. I'm just looking forward to having a great time."
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