Ottawa’s Burks Painting New Pictures On, Off Field

On and off the field Amare Burks’ creative mind never stops. The junior free safety is finding his way between the white lines as Ottawa University continues their spring workouts in Surprise. When he’s not focusing on football Burks is likely pouring his creativity into other areas.

“I’m an artist,” he said to after a recent workout. “I write poetry. I write music.”

Burks’ football journey has certainly been down the road less traveled.

Amare_Burks_action2After a solid career at Centennial High School he signed with Adams State. Two school stops later he’s back in Arizona looking to put the NAIA Spirit on the football map as they prepare for their first season in the west Valley.

It’s never where you start your football journey but where you finish.

Burks said he learned patience and discipline from long-time Coyotes’ head coach Richard Taylor who helped him prioritize life both on and, more importantly, off the field.

Amare_Burks_action3“Growing up everybody has a dream that they can go to the big school like Arizona or Arizona State,” Burks explained. “It was always football, football. But it’s more than football when you go to Centennial. I remember all his teachings. It just set me up to where I am right now.”

The free safety is hoping to be a play-making centerpiece in the back half of Ottawa’s defense this fall.

“Amare’s done a fantastic job,” head coach Mike Nesbitt said to “He’s one of our original signees. Just been a fantastic guy, been a good leader. He’s just gotten better and better.”

Amare Drawing 3You could say the same about Burks’ various pieces of art. The culturing helps him relax his mind and take the focus away from the daily rigors of school and football.

“Whenever I’m not [playing] football I just try to relax,” he said. “I paint landscapes. I found that to be interesting. It’s helps me ease my mind. It’s something I like to do.”  

Whether it be in front of a painting or staring down an on-coming wide receiver in coverage, Amare Burks is comfortable in any situation because he decided to listen to a few select voices who shared their wisdom from long ago.