Vanderbilt linebacker Oren Burks was sitting, waiting for his name to be called in the NFL draft when finally his phone rang. He immediately picked it up, and his cousin was on the other end. Not the NFL GM he was hoping for.
Eventually, Burks got the call he was looking for when the Green Bay Packers picked him in the third round, but his cousin wasn't the only one who faked him out throughout the day.
"When I got the call (from the Packers), everybody was wondering if it was actually a call (from an NFL team) because I got some pump-fake calls earlier in the day,” Burks told the Tennessean's Adam Sparks. “Some cousins and others had been calling, so we didn’t know."
Burks a senior from Vanderbilt, played in 42 games throughout his SEC career as a defensive back, safety and linebacker. Valued for his versatility as well as his play making ability, Burks collected 228 career tackles, 15.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 21 pass defenses and a forced fumble.
Though, some analysts see him as a tweener who will not translate to a consistent role outside of special teams.
Outside of his success on the field, Burks is well-known for his works off the field.
He was named to the 2016 Allstate-AFCA FBS National Good Works team for his work in the community, and was promoted by both the SEC conference and NCAA as a top student-athlete spokesman on many issues.
He co-founded REVAMP (Revitalizing and Empowering Vanderbilt’s African-American Population), and volunteered for Project Safe, which works to prevent sexual assault and dating violence on campus.
After the draft, Burks said he was thrilled to be employed and eager to bring his on and off the field skills to the Green Bay community.
“I am employed, and I’m anxious to get to work," he told the Tennessean. "I want to handle things on the field first, and then see where I can make an impact in Green Bay with the things that I’m passionate about."