Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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2022 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MIKE SINGER Traverse City (Mich.) Central line- backer Joshua Burnham was one of 10 Notre Dame class of 2022 recruits who participated in the All-American Bowl at San Antonio in early January. There were four practices before the actual game that was held on Jan. 8. Burnham would wake up at 7 a.m. and beat the line to get taped for practice that morning. Then came breakfast, where he'd eat with his future Notre Dame teammates. After getting fuel for the morning, Burnham would head back up to his room to get everything together for practice and be in the ho- tel lobby at 9 a.m. in time for the bus to pick him up at 9:15 a.m. to head to practice. After practice, the days for the play- ers were relaxing. They would have free time, do media for NBC in advance of the game and eat dinner. But back to breakfast. That was the one time of the day that all the Irish recruits in the game would get to spend together. It doesn't come as a surprise that Burnham added that the Notre Dame players were always on time — and often early — to the outings. "It's been a lot of fun," Burnham told Blue & Gold Illustrated after an All- American Bowl practice. "It's made me feel a lot more comfortable with my teammates. They're all super funny guys. I'm excited to spend the new few years with them." Burnham wasn't expecting to have his winter coat sit in his suitcase all week. "I'm used to being up in Traverse City where there's a winter weather advisory and two feet of snow, but here in San Antonio, it's 70 degrees and I'm getting a tan," Burnham said with a smile. "Just being out and playing football again, there's no better feeling." It's hard for linebackers to shine in the postseason all-star game settings because of the defensive play-calling restrictions in place, but on the third day of practice On3 named Burnham the East Team MVP. "Burnham has impressed at times on each day," On3's Gerry Hamilton wrote. "On [Day 3], it was his quick reactions and reading of the triangle in inside run drills. Burnham has no wasted motion. In the seven-on-seven team setting, Burnham took control of the East's de- fense. He made the calls and got team- mates aligned." ✦ Linebacker Joshua Burnham Enjoyed His All-American Game Experience Burnham, the No. 8 linebacker and No. 108 over- all player in America per the On3 Consensus, spent a lot of time with his future teammates at the All-American Bowl. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM MARCH 2022 51 JOSHUA BURNHAM LINEBACKER 6-4 · 214 TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL H.S. TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE consensus ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 108 8 2 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 157 14 2 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 166 17 2 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 126 4 2 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 76 6 2 STATISTICS • Compiled 77 total stops, 12 tackles for loss, one sack, one pass broken up and two interceptions during his senior season in 2021. • Was his team's starting quarterback as a senior. He completed 49 of 98 passes for 955 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions, and added 200 carries for 1,516 yards and 29 touchdowns. NOTABLE • Born on March 17, 2004. • 2022 All-American Bowl participant. • 2021 MLive's Michigan High School Football Player of the Year. • 2021 Anvil Award Winner (top lineman/line- backer in state of Michigan). • 2021 Gatorade Michigan Football Player of the Year. • 2021 Maxwell Football Club's National High School Defensive Player of the Year Award semi- finalist. • 2021 High School Butkus Award finalist. • Selected to The Detroit Free Press football Dream Team in 2021 and 2020. • Named to the 2021 Michigan Division 1-2 All- State football team. • Participates in Freedom Builders, which seeks to create affordable housing, and helped conduct various youth sports camps in the area. RECRUITMENT • Committed on March 17, 2021. • Enrolled at Notre Dame in January 2022. • Picked Notre Dame over Alabama, Michigan and Ohio State. • Was recruited by Notre Dame head coach Mar- cus Freeman and defensive analyst Nick Lezynski. • Officially visited Notre Dame for the USC game on Oct. 23, 2021 and on Dec. 10, 2021. 2022 PROJECTION • Notre Dame has plenty of linebackers on its 2022 roster, but Burnham may be too good to keep off the field. THEY SAID IT Former Notre Dame linebacker Mike Goolsby: "I like his size and short-area quickness. He's such a good player overall. You don't see elite high-end speed, but he's very shifty and slipping through blocks. "He's got long arms and probably projects best as a really athletic mike linebacker. He will need to work on using his hands to disengage from blocks." Opposing coach Derek Pennington of Caledo- nia High: "Burnham was the best player I saw all year. He was unstoppable, honestly. He's just very strong and powerful, a man playing versus boys. He was super impressive on both sides of the ball." National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming: "Burnham is one of the more active and produc- tive linebackers in the Midwest. Speed is a big part of his game as is his high football IQ and good overall athletic ability. Burnham has the potential to become a difference-maker at the next level. "He always seems to know where the ball is go- ing to be, on the ground or in the air. Flexible and fluid, he has exceptional body control. A highly motivated player, Burnham does what it takes to win. He shows the ability to play inside or outside at the linebacker position."

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