Hoffman Estates' senior middle linebacker James Burks was one of two recipients to be awarded the "GridIrons Gives Back" scholarship for excellence in the classroom as well as on the gridiron.
Sponsored by the law offices of Kelleher & Buckley, LLC., and in conjunction with GridIrons, Burks received a $500 check towards tuition at the University of Illinois, where he will be attending in the fall.
"Jimmy was one of the best student-athletes to ever come through our football program," said Hawks head coach Tim Heyse. "On the field, he was THE leader, in the weight room, during offseason workouts … truly a coach’s dream kid."
In his senior season, the defensive stalwart had 92 tackles, 16 of them for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 pass breakups on a historic Hawks squad that reached the 6A semi-finals.
And he was no slouch in the classroom either.
Burks, who plans on studying advertising at Illinois, finished his high school career with an impressive 3.8 GPA and was nominated by his coach for the scholarship.
"I'm grateful, honored, and blessed that coach thought of me for this scholarship," said Burks. "I can't describe what it means to me, I'm just so grateful."