Denzel Burke Emulating Cardinal DBs Past and Present

Class of 2021 Saguaro wide receiver & defensive back Denzel Burke has seen his recruitment pick up this spring with offers from Auburn, ASU and Nebraska.

But when the Bayou Bengals at LSU extended an offer, Burke was stopped in his tracks.

“LSU is my dream school. That’s a really good blessing from God,” Burke said. “Ever since I was a little kid, I fell in love with Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson. That whole thing with ‘DBU.’ I love it over there.”

The Saguaro athlete has looked up to two past and present Cardinal defensive backs, but Jason Mohns sees a future Bird Gang defensive back and former Sabercat when watching Burke. 

“He reminds me a lot of Byron Murphy,” Mohns said when Burke transferred to Saguaro this offseason.

“He’s a really natural athlete similar to Byron as far as his ball skills, his fluidity, his ability to play corner and receiver…I think Denzel is cut out of that same mold. Denzel is probably a little more powerfully built than Byron right now. Maybe not quite as loose and fluid as Byron was.”

Burke spent his first two seasons at Brophy College Prep, where he played in 10 games as a defensive back as a freshman and was the team’s leading receiver in his sophomore year.

Mohns believes Burke can thrive on both sides of the ball over the next two seasons.

“I’ve seen him match up against Matt Polk and (Kelee Ringo) and he doesn’t back down from that. That’s that trait that those guys want to be the best and they’re willing to put themselves out there. He’s got some of that similar composition.”

Auburn was Burke’s first offer. With offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham having heavy ties to Arizona (he played at Chaparral and was a former ASU coaching assistant from 2014-15), the Tigers were the first to give Burke an opportunity at the next level. Burke said he wasn’t expecting the offer and loves the type of opponent the Tigers face each week.

“SEC, they play the best of the best so I kind of want to be there,” Burke said.

Burke said he has “really liked” ASU since he was a freshman, and he thinks the Sun Devil coaching staff is attacking the local recruiting scene properly.

“I like it, they’re doing a good thing for Arizona.”

The Saguaro athlete said he hopes to visit ASU, LSU, Washington and USC this summer. Right now he’s focused on reaching his full potential to be in the same conversation as Saguaro greats like Murphy.

“I just got to keep working and doing my thing.”