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December 5, 2005Miss. Gulf Coast wide receiver Tony Burks has been a very popular person as of late. While three schools remain in the mix, a JUCO championship game followed by a bowl game caused him to miss two official visits, and being a December graduate time is running out to make those dates up. He started by taking two trips last weekend and canceled one this week. Who is still standing going into signing day?
The whirlwind began last Tuesday, when he had a in-home visit from Ole Miss coaches Ed Orgeron, Matt Luke, and Tony Hughes, followed by Mississippi State coaches Sylvester Croom and Guy Holliday on Wednesday. While Ole Miss had already claimed stake to the following weekend for a visit, the Bulldogs worked out a plan so he could see both.
"We tried to plan on a date then and came up with that," Burks explained. So how did the flurry of visits unfold?
"I left Friday and stayed there (MSU) until Saturday afternoon and went to Ole Miss and stayed until today (Sunday)," he said. "It (the State trip) went pretty good. I made it in there late, but they still showed me around. The host (Adron Chambers) showed me around."
Burks made the visit with his mother and was the only official visitor on campus.
"She enjoyed herself," Burks said. "She talked to coach Croom and coach Holliday while I was out. I think she liked it up there."
That was his first visit on his second go-around, but was also only the first of the weekend. He packed his bags Saturday and made the short trek to the northwest to see Oxford and the school he signed with out of high school.
"It was pretty good too," he said. "I made it down there and it was still day time. I made it to the room and it was like five or six and we went to like a little pregame ritual and all of that. Then I left with my host (Mike Espy) for the night."
In contrast to being the solitary visitor to Starkville, he was in the middle of the biggest recruiting weekend of the season in Oxford, with 16 confirmed visitors on campus. His mother also liked Ole Miss, a place she had already seen.
"I think she liked it up there too," Burks explained. "She had went up there with me on my fist visit and she enjoyed herself. She hadn't seen the indoor facilities and stuff like that and she and coach O got along pretty good too."
So after visiting both, did either school separate themselves from the other?
"I liked both of them," he said. "I enjoyed myself on both visits and I can't narrow one school down and say I liked one school better than the other school. Me and my mom both enjoyed both of them.
"Mississippi State, when I was up there, me and coach Croom had a one-on-one conversation and everything and talked about a lot of things and and coach Holliday was showing me around. When I went to Ole Miss, we went out to coach O's house and ate gumbo with him and his wife and family.
"I can't really say that one did (move up his list)."
Burks will have an in-home visit with coach Gunter Brewer from Oklahoma State today before traveling to OSU Friday for an official visit. He had set up a trip to Arkansas this week, but changed plans.
"I am going to call the coach today," he said. "My mom, she ain't been too fond of the situation, and it is interfering with like schoolwork too, so I am just going to cancel that."
It is now down to the three aforementioned schools and with signing day beginning on Dec. 21 he will have to make a decision fast. Right now two schools hold the lead and appear to be dead even.
"Right now I'd say Oklahoma State, they are like in the back," he said. "I went on both of the visits so I don't know how it is going to turn out, so I plan on going up there for the visit to see if they can make up some ground." He has no other in-home visits planned at this point.
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