By COLLIN BROOKS
Persistence has often paid off for David Crockett’s Ryan Burger and he will have four more years to prove himself at home as he officially accepted a walk-on role at East Tennessee State University on Monday.
After a long recruiting trail that hit a few bumps in the road, Burger said it came down to Emory and Henry or ETSU and after a meeting with ETSU and their coaches, he knew where he wanted to go.
“It was kind of like an interview,” Burger said. “I walked in there and had pretty good confidence and then I came out with a walk-on offer.”
Burger has been a four-year starter at David Crockett after stepping in as a freshman for an injured quarterback and started 41 consecutive games. He helped the Pioneers qualify for three straight playoffs. Burger had a career 62 percent throwing percentage for David Crockett while amassing 6,336 yards and 48 touchdowns through the air. He also rushed the ball 275 times for 1,222 yards and 25 touchdowns.
While he won’t be walking into a starting role and probably won’t be the second or third option for the Bucs right away, Burger believes that his work ethic will take him to the place that he wants to be.
“I’m not gonna be the guy right away, but I am confident that I am going to work my tail off and hopefully get there,” Burger said. “With the challenge it presents, I just base myself on hard work and I feel like when I walk in the weight room or go in for throwing sessions I am going to work harder than anybody that is next to me. They’re still my teammates, but I am fighting for a starting job and a scholarship too.”
David Crockett coach Jeremy Bosken said that Burger has meant a lot to the team and that just looking at the success they have had with him under quarterback can show that.
“41 consecutive starts, that alone tells you have tough he is,” Bosken said. “He comes to work every single day and he is a multi-sport athlete and he is a great academic kid. His peers look up to him and his teachers admire him, he is everything that you want in a student athlete, a quarterback, a son, a friend.”
That mentality was instilled in Burger by his parents, but they also taught him to remain humble and hungry.
“Growing up, my parents and my dad especially, has always taught me to remain humble and not think about what is going to happen, but think about things that you are going to do and goals you are going to set,” Burger said. “Everyone looks at it as a walk-on spot, but to me, I see it as an opportunity to compete and I am excited about that opportunity.”
Burger says that he will major in special education and that he will enroll in summer classes at ETSU.