So as I get ready to walk out the door to drive up to Greensboro, NC for the ACC Media Kickoff, I'll quickly post these extra quotes from Julian Burnett. We talked a lot a couple of weeks ago, and some of his interview didn't make it in the paper. But here's an extended look at Burnett's thoughts on life at Georgia Tech, his former coach Robert Davis (Mid-GA's all-time winningest coach with 353 wins, 37 of which Julian participated in), moving away to college, and his new teammates. (Oh, and be sure to check out The Telegraph's Sunday profile on the former Westside standout!)
(On the transition from high school to college):
The biggest transition would probably be going through workouts and then going through school. It’s kind of reverse as far as high school. You know, you wake up, you go to school and you’ve get all your energy out when you’re in school, and then you’re kind of lagging around when it’s time to play football or workout or whatever. But since it’s reversed, it’s hard to be awake and aware in the classes now, but you’ve got to do it because you don’t want to get behind.
(On adapting to Coach Paul Johnson's intense, fast-paced workouts):
I was personally, coming up here, was worried if I would be in shape enough to hang with the other recruits—the other signees—but overall, I think I’m doing good. Like I said, it’s a whole lot different from high school. Where as we would go through something and then take a break, you’re going through a series of things before you get one break. It’s just up-tempo and fast-paced. You’re going to get tired, but you just have to push through it.
(On differences between Coach Davis and Coach Johnson):
Biggest difference as far as any intensity in the conditioning and the workouts, Coach Davis, after practice when we would run, he would see that we were getting real tired or whatever, and he would step in and kind of babysit us and let us off the hook a little bit, whereas Coach Johnson puts everything in (strength and conditioning) Coach (Eric) Ciano’s hands, and he just doesn’t let up at all. He goes all out with it. Whatever is planned for that day, we’re going to do. There’s no, ‘OK, we’ll just take this for the day,’ or we’ll lay off for a little bit.
(On keeping in touch with Robert Davis):
I called (Davis) over the 4th of July weekend, asked him how he was doing. Just a little casual conversation, just keeping in touch. He plans on coming up to the games—he’s not coaching anymore, so he doesn’t have anything else to do.
(On coming back home to Macon and seeing friends and family):
When you go to the next level in sports, or just going to college period, it’s a big thing to be able to go home and people look up to you. Even if they’re going to be in the same position, it’s just that I’m already here, they’re looking for me to tell them what to expect and how the school is and how the classwork is like. We’re all still close. When I went down for the 4th, I saw all my friends….tell them how fun it is, and how they’re going to have the same fun.
(On receiving compliments about his size from fellow signees):
It makes me feel good in a sense. Like when we first got here, when we were moving in, I had taken some stuff up to my room, and when I got on the elevator. …there were like two other players that came in with me, and they asked me if I was already a football player here, and I was like, ‘Naw, I just got here.’ I guess they were surprised to hear that because of how big I am. But I don’t take any of that to the head. I just work hard. That’s just the result, you know?
(On mom Sonja Burnett having to say goodbye as he went off for college):
When I was moving in, she seemed like she was alright, taking it good. But then I talked to my sister on the phone later on that day, and it was like everybody was already missing me. I mean, I’m only an hour away, and I was gone for like a couple of hours and y’all already calling me? She really seems like she’s real proud of me, and she’s real proud of me.
(On being one of two players from Tech's roster from Macon, and what it means to the city to have him there):
It definitely means a lot. It’s like having the world on your shoulders. It’s like carrying Macon, me and Correy (Earls). But it just all goes along with the support thing. They support you. I feel like the people I know in Macon and most of the city, they’re just happy to have somebody make and it know that it’s possible that you can make it. Whether we play or not, it just opens the doors that people can look at Macon and make it easier for people to come out and hopefully they’ll be able to play.