For Old Dominion defensive lineman Chris Burnette, the time he spent at the Ravens' training complex for a local prospects day offered some validation and encouragement.
Among the team personnel Burnette met with: Ravens coach John Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and defensive line coach Clarence Brooks.
"It was real exciting and humbling being around the team I grew up watching and always wanting to play for," Burnette said. "It was a great feeling being one of the top guys from the area and getting to work out with the Ravens. I thought it went very well. I did real well in my positional drills and got a lot of good feedback from the coaches and scouts.
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"It was surreal meeting them. They're really nice guys. Talking to Coach Harbaugh, he said, 'We find talent everywhere and don't think because you're not at a big school that we would overlook you.' It was very humbling. I work my tail off. I started from nothing and I never quit."
The Gilman graduate has also drawn solid interest from the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.
Burnette was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Conference selection and a third-team All-American pick last season. He recorded 73 tackles and four sacks with seven tackles for losses and one interception. He finished his career with six blocked kicks.
A four-year starter, Burnette also earned all-academic conference honors.
"My style is I'm a high-motor guy with a lot of energy," Burnette said. "I never give up on a play. I'm very athletic for my size."
At his campus Pro Day workout, the 6-foot-3, 298-pounder bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times and had a 9-2 broad jump, a 27 1/2 inch vertical leap.
As a junior, Burnette had 49 tackles, eight for losses, 3 1/2 sacks and blocked three field goals. He was named third-team all-conference.
As a sophomore, Burnett had 28 tackles, 8 1/2 for losses and two sacks.
During his freshman season, he had 37 tackles, two sacks and two blocked field goals.
At Gilman, Burnette was an all-state selection and named All-Metro by The Baltimore Sun during his senior year. He recorded 78 tackles, 21 for losses, eight sacks, five forced fumbles and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
"I got a great foundation there. That's where it all began for me," Burnette said. "I got a great education. Everything I learned from them carried over to the next level to Old Dominion. They're a big part of why I was so successful.
"Honestly, I was overlooked coming out of high school. I wasn't getting a lot of looks from schools. I told my mom that she wouldn't have to pay for my education and that I would get an athletic scholarship. Academics was first to me at Old Dominion."
If Burnette goes undrafted, he figures to be a priority free agent.
"I just want to be a part of a team and do whatever it takes to get my team to a Super Bowl and win a championship," Burnette said. "I'm a relentless player willing to compete every down and put it all on the line.
"It's about finding a team that's the best fit for my abilities and talent. Every kid wants to be drafted. Just having the honor to be on any NFL team would be a great honor. I'd be happy to be picked up by anyone."