Hunting

Hog-hunting and TD-scoring Treylon Burks visits Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Treylon Burks is as violent as he is caring.

As fast as it is, well, not fast.

First, the speed.

After a fabulous final season at Arkansas, Burks was considered a top receiver prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Then came the Scouting Combine. He posted a mediocre 40-yard time of 4.55 seconds. A bad 20-yard shuttle of 4.4 seconds. A vertical jump of 33 inches below average. His Relative Athletic Score of 5.83, a 0-10 measure of a player’s height/weight/athleticism, spoke of a ho-hum athletic profile not quite fitting for a first-round pick.

“All I can say is go watch a movie and see if I got caught with that 40 time,” Burks said on the pro day.

Burks’ story backs up that bold statement, which is why his draft stock wasn’t really affected by training at Indianapolis. He had season averages exceeding 16.0 yards in each of his three seasons. In 2021, according to Pro Football Focus, he ranked fourth among receivers with 9.3 yards after catch-and-take and 25th with 12 catches on passes thrown 20+ yards down the field.

“They like my film. They like the way I communicate,” Burks said on pro day when he improved his vertical jump to 35.5 inches. “I’m very respectful and I’m a man about my business. I conduct my business in the right way. It’s me. I’m not a flashy gamer. I go to work every day, finish my job, go home with my fiancée and my dogs and continue to do this process.

His violence isn’t about the run-after-catch ability contained within his 225-pound frame, though that certainly applies. It’s more like one of his hobbies.

Boar hunting. It’s something he’s been doing since he was 9 years old.

It’s not for the faint of heart. A wild pig can tip the scales at 200 pounds, a combination of muscle and sharp tusks. They can run up to 35 mph.

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“You have to go out with dogs and the dogs find them and we come up behind them, attack them and take them out,” he told the Scouting Combine.

It’s muscle against muscle. Knife versus tusks.

“We don’t use guns,” he recently told ESPN.com. “Using a gun takes the fun out of it. Having a knife is more of a thrill than riding a boar that might kill you. Honestly, it’s just fun to be out there with your friends and family and have a good time.

Dangerous? Sure. But if Burks can tackle a pig and put it on the dinner table, then he can break up a tackle attempt from Harrison Smith and take it home.

Unsurprisingly, this has been a hot topic of conversation in meetings with the teams. Surely, when he meets the Green Bay Packers on Friday, general manager Brian Gutekunst or one of the team’s scouts or coaches will talk about it.

“Literally everyone was there,” he said of a meeting with the Giants. “They were thrilled that someone was doing this. They had never heard of it. It was amazing for them.

Burks, who went deer hunting for 30 minutes of sleep after beating LSU, is a product of his great-grandparents. His great-grandfather was a longtime employee of the Warren, Ark. school district. He taught Burks to have a selfless attitude.

“It’s an honor to have my name on the back of a helmet,” Burks wrote as part of a photo montage marking his first practice in Arkansas. “My family always pushed me and my (great)-grandfather kept telling me when I was younger that I was going to be something in life. My (great)-grandmother took this role after my grandfather died and always pushed me to be better. For me to have the name ‘Burks’ on my back is truly an honor. I want to represent my grandfather’s name and his legacy .

When her great-grandfather died while Burks was in high school, her great-grandmother fell into the void. Freda Burks is the driving force as he moves on to the next phase of life.

“It’s really important because I think back to when she would always hold me and sacrifice time for me when she didn’t have to,” Burks said on the pro day. “She could have given me to my mother. It just means a lot, just because she’s a woman who sat there every day, changed my Pampers, gave me milk, did everything for me, and she wasn’t even my mother. Just…words can’t explain.

VIDEO: TREYLON BURKS TALKS ABOUT HUNTING

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