Shane Burks’ EKU football journey

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How a former Bryan Station football player went from walk-on to a team leader

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – Defensive lineman Shane Burks didn’t walk onto Eastern Kentucky University’s campus as a star recruit.

“To be honest with you,I’ve always been myself,” Burks explained. “I was grinding man. I just was a grinder.”

Shane played offensive line at Bryan Station High School in Lexington before heading to EKU as a walk-on defensive lineman. A play that he’s executed to perfection.

“I knew I had an opportunity here. I feel like its cliche to say, but I really did bet on myself. I looked at myself and said, ‘man I should be on that level,’” Burks said.

Eastern Kentucky head football coach Walt Wells took notice. “We were in the weight room,” Burks said. “He walked up to me and told me come up to my office. I’m like did I do something? I never had a bad meeting with him so I’m like I don’t know.”

After three years, Shane finally earned a football scholarship. “He told me what his plan was for me and that he saw how hard I was working,” Burks explained. “I was super happy. I remember calling my mom and letting her know. She knew it was going to happen.”

At halftime of EKU’s Spring Football Game, the red-shirt senior received the Roy Kidd leadership award from his coaches. “When I came here, I knew that Eastern would be something special,” Burks said. “You see all the growth.”

A full circle moment for a young man that took a chance on himself and won. “As far as my experience, I wouldn’t change a thing,” Burks emphasized. “Sometimes I think about how would I feel if I was at a different school or bigger school or something like that. I just feel so happy here. I go around town, and I’m on billboards and people know who I am. It’s awesome.”

Now the man who was once a walk on is a star.

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