Senior defensive end Richard Burney has been sidelined due to a medical condition he experienced following the Louisville game. Burney has kept the specifics of his wellness to himself, but he does hope to return to football in the future.
Q: What has this experience been like for you this semester?
Burney: “It has been tough. Obviously, the condition I have is the last thing that I expected to happen. Overall it has been tough but I am getting through it. It is getting better.”
Q: Who has helped you during this time?
Burney: “Everyone really. Everyone in the program, the players, the coaches, my family, friends. Everybody has really been there for me and reached out. Basically, just told me everything is going to be okay. This is just one little setback that I will be able to push through and then hopefully continue to play.”
Q: What are some things you have been doing during the recovery process?
Burney: “I have been doing cardio for about two weeks and that is pretty much all I have been doing. I am going to be able to start lifting really soon, lifting how I want to, and getting back into full shape.”
Q: What are your plans now?
Burney: “Hopefully to come back, that is my plan right now. Right now I am doing cardio and staying around the guys, doing my school work so I stay on course to graduate and I am just keeping things pretty normal.”
Q: Have you developed any new hobbies or interests?
Burney: “I wouldn’t say new. If I am not doing school work or hanging out with friends I usually just play my Xbox. I have been reading a lot lately, just for fun. There is one book I am reading called “Ten Great Ways to Be a Leader,” which basically gives ideas on how to be a great leader.”
Q: How have you grown through this process?
Burney: “I definitely feel like this has made me stronger, more resilient. It has taught me a lesson. You can’t just lay down and feel sorry for yourself when something happens to you. You can either sit down and take it and be sad all the time or you can pick yourself up and move on and continue to do everything you can to be yourself again. I feel like I have done a pretty good job of that.”
Q: What you do look forward to about getting back into football?
Burney: “Just being able to play again. I was having a lot of fun this season before my medical condition came up. So just looking forward to playing again and being with the guys on the field. That is what I look forward to most.”
Q: Do you have anyone that has inspired you in your career?
Burney: “My dad. He is always calling me and letting me know about different techniques I can use and different ways I can be successful on the football field. He has always been there for me and he has been like my coach outside of having a position coach and I really appreciate that. Sometimes he teaches you things that you don’t always get from position coaches. I appreciate everything he has done for me, he inspires me.”
Q: How does football help with dealing with difficult situations?
Burney: “I feel like football is a game where you have to deal with difficult situations by itself, like in the game. Just playing it for so long I feel like football is a great way to mold young men to be resilient and be able to overcome adversity. I feel like football has been a backbone for me in handling adversity in my life. I’m just glad I was able to get through the rough times of my medical condition and now I am just doing everything normal and hopefully will get back to a speedy recovery.”