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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gulf's Burbridge not in it for glory

By Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer
In print: Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NEW PORT RICHEY — His mother is Polynesian. His middle name, Isileli, is the first name of his maternal grandfather. An aspiring marine biologist, he once caught a 5-foot blacktip shark near Anclote Key. Yet he never, ever eats fish.

Here's another fact about Gulf two-way junior Will Burbridge casual Bucs fans may not know: The brawny kid with the Beatles haircut, the one whose name can't be spotted anywhere near a list of area statistical leaders, is Gulf's overall MVP in the eyes of his coach.

"He's unsung," coach Jay Fulmer said. "But when it just comes to being a football player, he's the best football player on this team."

Watch tape from any Bucs game, and you'll see Burbridge, the fullback, lead blocking for county single-season rushing king Adrian "Bubba" Golden on practically every handoff. Watch the Bucs defense, and there's no telling where you'll see him.

"He plays wherever we need him (on defense)," Fulmer said. "He can play any spot out there."

He's endowed with size (6-2, 200 pounds), abnormal fleetness (4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash), soft hands (18 catches, 287 yards) and the power to remove one's sense of smell with a flush hit.

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