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Rodjay Burns Continuing to Grow as a Player & Leader

One of Louisville's top defensive assets, outside linebacker Rodjay Burns is only getting better as both a football player and a leader of his teammates.

Rodjay Burns has had to adjust to a lot over the last few seasons.

A former Ohio State Buckeye, the Louisville native transferred back home and sat out the 2017 season in order to get acclimated to his new team. Not only would he have to adjust to a completely new staff in 2019, but that same year he underwent a position change - moving from cornerback to outside linebacker.

All things considered, Burns has performed well, Despite having never played amongst the linebacker corps in his football career, the Trinity HS product finished second on the team in tackles with 83 and led them in tackles for loss with 11 -both career highs.

As well as he played in his penultimate collegiate year, Burns has become a better "Card" outside backer since the end of last season.

"Setting edges on linemen," Burns said when asked what has been his biggest growth since his position switch. "Being as small as I was, I've gotten bigger, gained more weight so I'm stronger."

Last season, Burns was listed at just 6-foot- and 197 pounds according to the official 2019 roster. Fast forward to two weeks before kicking off the 2020 season and he has gained roughly 10-15 pounds, which has helped him to take on blocks from the Louisville offensive linemen and have an easier time setting edges.

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Like everyone else across the Cardinals roster, Burns has benefitted from scheme and coaching continuity as well. His first season as an outside linebacker saw him playing in the box more so than usual. But with the regular season a little more than a week away, he's used to his placement on the gridiron and even calls it "pretty fun".

But his on-field performance hasn't been the only part of his game that he is working on. As a redshirt senior, he is one of the leaders of the defense - but has not established a reputation as being a vocal one. While not his forte, that's something he has been working on for his final year.

"I've been trying this year, but I'm still more of the same," Burns said. "I'm gonna have to work on that as a leader - being more vocal to the guys."

Louisville will return to the practice fields on Thursday, and are set to kickoff the season against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at home on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8:00pm on the ACC Network.

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