NFL Draft: Interview with 49ers guard Spencer Burford
Spencer Burford was an avid football player for four years. The only reason the Texas-San Antonio guard wasn’t a player earlier was because of his age and height.
“I tried to start earlier when I was three years old. I went there, I saw that they had football practice. said Burford. “I tried to play with the team pennant, I was obviously too small. Just a little baby at this point.
To compensate for this and the fact that flag football started at age five or six, Burford was able to start playing at age four, when the love of the game took off.
Burford did everything he could throughout his high school career to make it to the University of Texas-San Antonio. Coming from a highly respected football program, Burford has had plenty of time to hone his football skills for the next level.
When it came time to prepare for the draft, Burford took as many reps as possible. That meant keeping up with conditioning, training, and racing. Ultimately, he wanted to keep both his mind and his body in order.
“[I was] trying to find a happy place, with all the chaotic things going on,” Burford said.
Burford was grateful for the trip plan, but a lot came with it. He understood the process to be part of reaping the benefits, which he will do with the San Francisco 49ers.
“At the end of the day, with the position you’re in, that’s all part of it,” Burford said.
Burford talked about soaking up every moment of the process while finding ways to stay balanced, like praying, listening to music and having a good support system.
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Having a support system has meant the world to Burford, especially in the position he finds himself in. He talked about the importance of not only his own family, but also his brothers on his team.
“[You need] people you can trust, especially right now, people are eliminating themselves if they’re not meant to be a part of your life,” Burford said.
Now that he’s in that position, and now that he’s a rookie on the 49ers, Burford shared some of the skills he’s picked up over the years that will make him an asset to the team not just on the pitch but also off the pitch.
“My knowledge of the game [is what sets me apart.]said Burford. “I have real fine-tuning on certain things in the game.”
The idea of being able to understand concepts and identify top-down patterns is important, but Burford also enjoys the idea of being an authentic person.
It’s those traits that have made last year’s rookies have explosive seasons, which Burford observed.
“They’ve earned it, all the hard work they’ve put in. They’re reaping the rewards.” said Burford. “They didn’t go there for no reason. These breakout seasons don’t happen for no reason.
Burford’s family is just as happy and proud that he’s in the draft, and now they’re thrilled he’s getting his turn to shine next season. The same kid who wanted to play at just three years old will now represent the red and gold next season.
“Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do,” Burford said. “The dream may seem too big for narrow-minded people. They may not have the same outlook. Always stay humble.