The first black stripe removal for the Buckeyes in fall camp belongs to freshman cornerback Denzel Burke. The announcement was made following practice on Saturday.
Burke, who played his high school ball at Saguaro in Scottsdale, Arizona, was ranked the No. 8 athlete in the nation and the No. 196 player overall. He signed with the Buckeyes without ever visiting the Ohio State campus.
Burke didn’t waste any time getting to campus once he could, however, enrolling early back in January and going through winter conditioning and spring ball.
Even though he arrived still nursing an injury and not quite 100%, he made an early impression in spring practice while making plays in 7-on-7 drills.
Burke played more offense than defense in high school and the Buckeyes didn’t get as good a look at him in recruiting as they normally do, but it sure seems like their scouting was on point.
In fact, secondary coach Matt Barnes couldn’t say enough good things about Burke back in the spring.
“He has elite feet,” Barnes said of Burke. “Footwork and patience that you don’t see from many people regardless of their age, but particularly for a young guy, to sit at the line of scrimmage and have the patience that he has to play press technique and some other techniques. He looks seasoned.
“He’s been a very — not that we’re surprised, but I am to a degree. Just kind of blown away by how far along he looks at times. Now he’s still got a long way to go, don’t get me wrong, but he looks pretty natural in there. So really excited about him.”
Burke was one of three — or even possibly four — cornerbacks signed by Ohio State in the 2021 class, but he was the only one who enrolled early. He’s also the only one who has had his black stripe removed.
Denzel Burke is now the sixth member of the 2021 class to have his stripe removed. The first two were receiver Marvin Harrison and defensive end Jack Sawyer on April 6, then came running back TreVeyon Henderson on April 10, followed by receiver Emeka Egbuka and linebacker Reid Carrico on April 13.
If the 2021 class is as good as everyone thinks, expect the black stripes to start flying off over the next few weeks. The Buckeyes next take the practice field on Monday, August 9. The following practice on Tuesday will be the first in full pads.
Ohio State Black Stripe Leaderboard
DL Jacolbe Cowan (redshirt freshman) – April 2
WR Marvin Harrison – April 6
DE Jack Sawyer – April 6
RB TreVeyon Henderson – April 10
WR Emeka Egbuka – April 13
LB Reid Carrico – April 13
CB Denzel Burke – August 7