Burks anxious for a return to action

There might not be a player on the USC roster who is more anxious for spring ball to start than Charles Burks.

The redshirt freshman defensive end has shown his enthusiasm for USC football ever since he accepted the scholarship offer from the Trojans. Burks endeared himself to USC fans by making the drive from his Orange County home for every spring ball practice in 2011 and had no problem accepting a position switch to fullback last fall, even though his background was primarily as a pass-rushing defensive end.

The coaches took a quick look at him in camp last August on offense but to put him back on defense after a couple of weeks. Burks quickly made his presence felt with a multi-sack performance in one of his first sessions, but just as quickly was out of action with a knee injury that would require surgery and sideline him for the season.

Burks (6-0, 233 pounds) has yet to be cleared by USC doctors to return to full-time action, but he is close enough that he is able to perform many of the drills during winter team conditioning sessions.

“I’m feeling great,” Burks said. “I can do straight ahead movements, I can do some cutting. I’m still waiting to be cleared for full-throttle contact in spring ball though. The doctors are targeting February 26, hopefully that will be it. I’m begging them to clear me every day. I can’t wait to be out there.”