Football: Burdin seeking varsity corner role

Junior Nate Burdin will be looking to step up in the defensive backfield for the Hub varsity football team this coming season. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Tough-tackling junior eager to improve coverage skills

Although he may have been one of the smallest players on the football field, Hub cornerback Nate Burdin excelled in making tough tackles and staying true to the Rochelle Township High School football program’s defensive scheme. Burdin’s growth and maturity will be on display this coming season, when he’ll look to step up and earn a starting varsity role as a junior.

Burdin took the majority of his reps on the scout team this past season, suiting up for JV games along with many of the other sophomores on the varsity roster. Burdin said his sophomore season allowed him to learn from the team’s upperclassmen in the defensive backfield, further preparing him for the opportunity to start at cornerback for the Hubs this coming season.

“I felt I learned how to become a varsity player from the upperclassmen and I matured as a football player,” Burdin said. “I’m looking to improve my vision on pass plays while covering my receiver. I excelled at being in the right position last season, but I struggled with getting a good line of sight on the football. My goals for next season are to fill a corner role on the varsity team and increase my number of tackles per game. As a team, my goals for us are to make the playoffs and get revenge on LaSalle-Peru, who I thought we should’ve beaten last year.”

With junior and senior cornerbacks in front of him on the varsity depth chart, Burdin said his sophomore season provided him an opportunity to learn the playbook and stay prepared if a teammate went down. While most athletic activities are currently paused due to COVID-19, Burdin made strong impressions on defense over the offseason, making tough plays in perimeter run-pass situations and sticking to his reads during summer workouts.

“What I enjoy most about the sport are the intensity on every snap, the joy of seeing a win on the scoreboard after a hard-fought game and the brotherhood we build through the tough summer workouts and the wins and losses during the season,” said Burdin, who started playing flag football at age 4 and tackle football at age 7. “I see myself filling the role of a starting cornerback this coming season and I molded myself into this role during practice this summer.”

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