When he’s on the football field, you can’t help but be distracted by the size of 6-foot-2, 231-pound Arkansas linebacker Freddy Burton. After watching a game and seeing his on-field performance, one couldn’t help but notice something else when speaking with Burton.
The Morrilton, Ark., native has compassion, drive and a strong commitment to his family.<IMG SRC=”/pics32/160/GF/GFKHRIXLDJPYLIY.20101111161943.jpg” HEIGHT=”160″ WIDTH=”106″ BORDER=”0″>
“My family is very important to me,” Burton said. “They’ve always been No. 1 in my life. I can always count on looking into the stands and seeing my parents, grandmother and sisters.”
Burton, a senior, has gone beyond just contributing to Arkansas’ strong defense this season. He embarked on a new task in 2010 to be a team leader.
“There are always teammates that have questions and I try to help them out the best that I can,” Burton said. “I give them my input and help them from my point of view.”
The elder linebacker, claiming more than 150 tackles in his UA career, wasn’t entirely certain his new leadership position was for him, but in time, has become comfortable mentoring younger Razorbacks.
“It’s something you have to grow into and get used to,” Burton said. “Being one of the older guys and knowing the defense, I had to become accustomed to helping teach and lead the younger players. It’s something I take very seriously.”
In his time as a Razorback, Burton has learned many things about himself.
“There’s always going to be ups and downs in life and you have to find ways to work through them,” Burton said. “You have to stay positive. You’ve just got to always be looking for the best in things.”
He is a recreation sports management major with admirable plans for when he graduates.
“I hope to be able to give children an outlet and keep them out of trouble,” Burton said.
When asked about his career decision, Burton admitted he knows how to deal with kids from his own experience.<IMG SRC=”/pics32/280/GB/GBDTZGWPGQWOHBI.20101111161945.jpg” HEIGHT=”280″ WIDTH=”193″ BORDER=”0″>
“I was a rowdy kid,” Burton said. “I had so much energy and I was always playing sports and I think that’s what mainly kept me out of trouble.”
Burton, who started playing baseball and basketball by third grade, always led an active lifestyle through sports. The beginning of football followed for him in the fifth grade.
“Sports have always been a big part of my life,” Burton said. “If I didn’t want to be a football player, I wanted to be a basketball player or baseball player. I always wanted to be an athlete. I’ve always wanted to be involved in sports in one way or another.”
His love for sports, especially football, is what brought him to the University of Arkansas. To say that Burton was excited to be a Razorback wouldn’t be accurate. He was extremely humbled.
“It was a blessing for me to be able to come to Fayetteville and play college football,” Burton said. “I would definitely consider it a dream fulfilled. But I’m not where I want to be yet. I want to continue on.”
Now with his senior season coming to an end and aspirations to continue in the sport, Burton is left with his final game in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium against UTEP.
“It went by so fast,” Burton said. “It’s coming to an end and I’m trying to take away as much every day as I can.”
by Chelcey Lowery
Arkansas Media Relations