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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2022 Notre Dame LB Commit Josh Burnham "Easy To Root For"

May 10, 2021

Joshua Burnham‍ is certainly a standout on the field, which is why the 2022 Michigan linebacker had offers from schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin before committing to Notre Dame back in March.

But it’s the way Burnham carries himself off the field that impresses Traverse City Central High School head coach Eric Schugars the most.

“He's just a very humble kid,” says Schugars. “He's a hard-working kid. I know a lot of kids work hard, but Josh is very humble in the way he attacks everything.

“When he's on the football field, he's a physical kid. He has a physical mentality and he thrives on that aspect of his game. Off the field, he's just a likable kid and how he treats other people, he's a high-character kid. He's a guy who's easy to root for. We get to see that every day at school and around our locker room and around the hallway and things like that. Here comes this 6-4, Division-I recruit and he just has so much humility.”

Physically, the first thing Schugars points to is the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder’s frame.

“We've got an outstanding strength and conditioning program in our school and we've got a top-notch strength and conditioning coach who is known across the region and certainly statewide,” says Schugars. “Josh has taken advantage of all the resources he has, but with that size and frame, he's got so much length that he's able to put to work. He's worked hard and is able to put all that work ethic into the weight room and also being a great student-athlete.

“He's just grown leaps and bounds the last year. It's neat to see that. You see a kid put the time and effort in, and then it pays off like this. We knew he had something special, but he just took it to a whole new level this year.”

Burnham’s personality is an asset in the locker room and the weight room, according to his coach.

“He comes in and runs his teammates,” says Schugars. “He's just a competitor. We have a competitive weight room environment. We have a leaderboard board in there. There's like a Top Three List, so our football players are always competing, not so much weight, but just bar speed and being explosive.

“If he's not on Top Three, if he sees someone beat him or getting close, he's going to ratchet it up a little bit and that's kind of fun to see.”

Schugars wasn’t surprised Burnham picked the Irish over his other options.

“Just because how he reacted going there,” the coach says. “After he visited and saw what they’ve got going on, just a tight-knit feel of Notre Dame, that was one thing that really drew him to them.”

And Schugars is proud to be sending a player from his program to South Bend.

“I think it's something special. You don't get a kid like that, you don't get opportunities like this very often. It's the first one we've had up here. We try to build a positive culture here and try to use the game of football to build young men and you have to have a great culture to do that.

“The bottom line is you see a kid who is not boastful. He's a pretty humble kid who works hard. He's a good student-athlete, he exemplifies the principles of our program and it's great to have a kid like that be in this position. Those kids are going to hopefully look up to him and they're going to ask those questions. 'Well, how did he do it? Why does he do it?' Obviously, he's gifted in ability and size and length like we talked about, but he's got some of the other intangibles that go with it.”

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