Rutgers Football stayed busy this week with additional coaching hires (more on that soon), but got good news with personnel as well. The early signing period may be over, but Boston College transfer Defensive Tackle Ireland Burke announced his commitment with the program Friday. Rutgers announced the news with the Tweet below:
A former 3-star recruit originally from New York, Burke was the 32nd best New Jersey high school player (out of Pope John XXIII) and 96th best defensive tackle in the 2019 class according to the 247 composite which includes other sources. 247 itself had him 23rd. All that said, you can’t teach size and Burke is a legitimate 300 pounder in the trenches.
Burke entered the transfer portal on December 13, less than two weeks after Eagles Head Coach Steve Addazio was fired and weeks before the Eagles’ Bowl game. NJ Advance Media indicated Burke had committed over a week ago, but waited for the paperwork to be finalized before it was officially reported. As a true freshman, Burke played in four games registering six tackles, thus allowing him to take a redshirt and possibly play four more years if he earns a hardship waiver. If not, he will need to sit out the 2020 season and would have three years left to play.
Position: DT (6’3”, 310 lbs.)
Previous stop: Boston College
High School: Pope John XXIII (NJ)
Hometown: Jamaica, NY
Most notable offers (High School): Minnesota, Purdue, Maryland, Rutgers
In his second tenure in Piscataway, Head Coach Schiano said he wanted to utilize his connections and this is a rather interesting one. Jim Panagos was the defensive line coach at Minnesota (though Joe Rossi was the primary recruiter) which was in the hunt for Ireland’s services. Anthony Campanile elected to join the Miami Dolphins rather than his brother Nunzio with the Scarlet Knights and had originally recruited Burke to BC. So with his primary recruiter and former Head Coach no longer at BC, Ireland decided to move on himself. Burke is the fourth former Power Five player to transfer to the Rutgers program since Schiano took over after Malik Barrow and Brendon White who both played at Ohio State plus Baylor’s Peyton Powell.
Defensive tackle is in the mid to upper level of the Scarlet Knights’ needs as a program. Ideally Burke will play in 2020, but even if he has to sit out a year is worth the wait. Burke has great size for the position and possessed above average athleticism at the high school level. At worst if he can’t maintain the quickness at his current playing weight, he will occupy a ton of space as soon as he is eligible to join the interior defensive line rotation. At best he’s an all-conference type of player. This is a great pickup for new defensive line coach Jim Panagos.
You can watch sone of Burke’s High School highlights below:
Welcome to the banks Ireland!