Ohio State lost both starting safeties to the NFL: Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell. Junior Damon Webb and redshirt sophomore Malik Hooker are the favorites to start. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said the other safeties are a notch below at this point. However, he said, the competition is wide open.
“We haven’t named anybody (a starter),” Schiano said.
Burrows said he is working with the starting group in the nickel package. He knows he’ll also get work on special teams, but it’s too early to tell what his role will be there.
Burrows appeared in 12 games as a true freshman, making 11 tackles. In the national championship season of 2014, he played in 14 of 15 games and saw action on 296 plays on defense and special teams. He was a backup safety a year ago and was on the field for 29 snaps in three of the first four games before injuring his foot. He had foot surgery in October.
“Last season it was the foot,” Burrows said. “Then I came back and it was the knee. I just had to take the positive view, that I’m getting closer to my goals and dreams. Every time somebody tries to get closer to their goals and dreams, things start happening to them.”
Off the field, Burrows has already realized one dream. He earned a degree in criminology and is now working toward a second degree in sports industry. After his football career ends, he wants to get a job like Mickey Marotti, who is Ohio State’s assistant athletic director for football sports performance and oversees strength and conditioning.
“I want to be involved with players and developing players on the field and off the field,” Burrows said.