Spencer Burford was one passionate four-year-old football player. The only reason why the Texas-San Antonio guard wasn’t a player sooner was because of his age and size.
“I tried to start earlier when I was three years old. I went over there I saw that they were having football practice.” Burford said. “I tried to play with the flag team, I was obviously too small. Just a little baby at this point.”
To make up for this, and the fact that flag football started at five or six years old, Burford was able to begin playing at four, when the love of the game took off.
Burford took in as much as he could through his high school career to get to college at Texas-San Antonio. Coming from a well-respected football program, Burford had a lot of time to polish his football skills for the next level.
Once it came time to prepare for the draft, Burford took in as many reps as possible. This meant keeping up with conditioning, training and running. Ultimately, he wanted to both keep his mind and body right.
“[I was] trying to find a happy place, with all the chaotic stuff going on,” Burford said.
Burford has been grateful for the draft journey, but a lot came with it. He understood that the process is part of reaping the benefits, which he will with the San Francisco 49ers.
“At the end of the day, with the position that you’re in, it’s all a part of it,” Burford said.
Burford talked about soaking in every moment of the process while finding ways to keep balanced, such as praying, listening to music and having a good support system.
Having a support system has meant the world to Burford, especially being in the position that he is in. He talked about the importance of not only his own family, but his brothers on his team becoming family as well.
“[You need] people that you can trust, especially right now, people weed themselves out if they’re not supposed to be in your life,” Burford said.
Now that he is in this position, and now that he is a rookie on the 49ers, Burford shared some of the skills he learned through the years that will make him an asset to the team not only on the field but also off the field.
“My knowledge of the game [is what sets me apart.]” Burford said. “I have a real fine-tune about some things in the game.”
The idea of being able to understand concepts and identify schemes from top to bottom is important, but Burford values the idea of being a genuine person as well.
These traits are what made last year’s rookies have explosive seasons, something Burford observed.
“They earned it, all the hard work they put in. They’re reaping their benefits.” Burford said. “They didn’t get there for no reason. Those breakout seasons don’t happen for no reason.”
Burford’s family is just as happy and proud of him to be in the draft, and now are ecstatic that he will get his turn to shine next season. The same kid who wanted to play at just three years old will now rep red and gold next season.
“Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do,” Burford said. “The dream might sound too large to small-minded people. They might not have the same outlook. Always remain humble.”