Chandler Burks, a rising senior who plays on both sides of the ball for South Paulding, was swayed by the quality of the Brian Bohannon’s coaching staff.
“Let me start off by telling you how comfortable I felt with the coaching staff,” Burks said. “I visited three weeks ago and loved the campus, and I knew it felt right when coach Bohannon offered. Making history is something that we’ll continue throughout the seasons until we start in 2015.”
An additional factor that weighed into Burks’ decision was the familiarity he has with one of Bohannon’s assistant. Former South Paulding coach Tim Glanton was hired last month to be Kennesaw State’s A-backs coach.
Burks played under Glanton for three seasons, with the team going 6-4 each year.
“I have to say, he did weigh in on me making my decision,” Burks said of Glanton. “He’s a godly man, as are most of the coaches on (Kennesaw State’s) staff. Every coaching staff I have played for has been a faith-bound team.”
After he officially signs with Kennesaw State, which he can do as soon as National Signing Day in February, Burks will join the remainder of Kennesaw State’s recruiting class for a fall of practice and preparation in 2014. The Owls will play their first game in the fall of 2015, with Burks and the rest of the inaugural class as redshirt freshmen.
Burks’ experience at various positions should give Bohannon plenty of options in building his roster. Not only can Burks play out of the defensive secondary, and line up on offense as a quarterback, running back and wide receiver, he also has experience returning kicks and punts on special teams.
Burks is expecting to play similar roles going into his final season at South Paulding under Ed Koester, the former South Cobb coach who succeeded Glanton at South Paulding.
“Chandler is just an outstanding kid and a great leader,” Koester said of the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Burks. “He has a tremendous mind for the game and is a great choice for coach Bohannon. He can do so many things, and his understanding of the game makes him such a valuable player.”
Offensively, Burks had 304 all-purpose yards and a combined five touchdowns for South Paulding last season. Defensively, he had 28 tackles and two interceptions.
He also had a combined 273 kick and punt return yards, with one punt return going for a touchdown.