TC Central’s Josh Burnham a contender for two national football honors
One to watch
By Lynda Wheatley | Dec. 4, 2021
Christmas came early this year for Traverse City Central football phenom Josh Burnham. The national Maxwell Football Club named him one of 16 semifinalists for its prestigious National High School Defensive Player of the Year award. That honor comes on the heels of the announcement that he’s also in the running for the Butkus Award, which is given to the top linebacker in the country.
Whether Burnham wins either award, he’s got a lot to hang his hat — er … helmet on already. The 6-foot-4 linebacker was a key weapon in TC Central’s run to the Division 2 championship this year, which took place at Detroit’s Ford Field Nov. 29. Though Macomb County’s De La Salle kept the Trojans from taking the championship title, Burnham’s season tally added up to more than 1,300 yards rushed and a place in the upcoming All-American Bowl, which counts among its past players 13 future Heisman Trophy finalists and 74 Super Bowl champions.
Despite 16 scholarship offers from Division 1 universities around the nation, Burnham — who was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1992 — committed to play, on his March 17 birthday last spring, for Notre Dame next fall.