Before moving to the Farm in 2012, Stanford linebacker coach David
Kotulski was the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at
Lehigh for six years. Evidently, his Pennsylvania ties remain
strong, as Kotulski has been relentless in his pursuit of in-state
product Tyler Burke on behalf of the Cardinal.
“Coach Kotulski has been to my school more than five times,”
Burke said. “He’s been there a lot, so I’m going to go out June
17-20 for their Monday night lights and junior day camp.”
That “so” in Burke’s statement hints at why coaches rack up so
many frequent flier miles. (And
will go to any length, no matter how trivial, to show a
recruit attention.) The more interest a staff demonstrates, the
better the chances of landing the recruit, or so the thinking
goes. Of course, overzealous pursuit can sometimes backfire, but
in this case, ask Burke what stands out about Stanford, and the
attention is the first thing in his mind, preceding even the
“They’ve probably been the most [frequent visitors],” Burke said.
“They came after my sophomore year. I’ve talked to [Coach
Kotulski] a lot. He’s been the recruiter at our school the most,
honestly. For him to come out that much, I just like it. To get a
degree from there, that’s pretty good.”
Of course, there’s a seeming incongruity here, with Kotulski’s
pursuit juxtaposed by the lack of a formal offer. That paradox may
not be soon for this world, as Burke is hopeful that his June
visit is good for more than just souvenirs.
“Coach Kotulski has been out to see me a ton, and he said they
want me to come out, so hopefully when I go out, I’ll get an
offer,” Burke said. “You never know. I’m across the whole U.S., so
I think they want to see if I come out and have all the coaches
“He always just says come out to see. They want to see me run
around. They want me to run, do drills, and see the campus and
“I hope they do [offer]. It would mean a lot. I wouldn’t commit
right away, but it’d be up there on my list."
Perhaps our favorite quote of this recruiting season comes
courtesy of Burke. It doesn’t translate well to print, but when we
asked why the Cardinal would rocket up his list, he replied
simply, but in a tone that suggested the question answered itself:
Still, despite the Cardinal’s strengths, distance will be a
“It’s a good thing to have a degree from there, but it’s so far
away, so I don’t know,” he said. “It’s a tough decision.”
Of course, distance is only one part of the larger picture, and
Burke reports his parents mirror that line of thinking.
“Obviously, they’re not going to tell me to do any one thing,” he
says of their influence on his college selection. “Yeah, it’s far
away, but in the long run, it’d probably be the best, so we’re
going to go out and see everything.”
Burke is not sure exactly who will be joining him for his trip
West, but does think at least one of his parents will accompany
him next month.
Academically, he reports a 3.7 and, on the advice of Stanford’s
staff, will be retaking his SAT and is considering senior year AP
On the gridiron, Burke talks about a love of the game, in
particular its physicality and getting after a ballcarrier as a
He should have the opportunity to do just if he lands at
Stanford. While other schools are recruiting him at tight end,
defensive end, and middle linebacker, the Cardinal want him at an
At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Burke is the No. 24 MLB nationally and a
three-star prospect to Scout.
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