Let Vontaze Burfict’s play on the field determine how he’s viewed

Aug 12, 2011, 9:02 PM | Updated: 10:07 pm

Is Vontaze Burfict a trouble maker or just a misunderstood young man who is getting an unfair rap? That’s the question that has been posed for the better part of a week and really for the better part of the linebackers time as a member of the Arizona State football program.

A former Sun Devil, offensive lineman Juan Roque, weighed in on the subject and provided some interesting insight.

“He’s still a young man,” he said on Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf Friday morning. “He’s still learning. It’s a maturation process. Yes, last year he did cost the team dearly. I don’t think he deliberately did those things. I just think his emotions are out of control. Football is an emotional sports and Vontaze is a football player.”

While many have been quick to judge Burfict based on costly personal foul penalties and allegations of locker room altercations, Roque wishes most people would just let his play on the field dictate how he is viewed.

“Let’s let the young man’s play determine how we view him,” he said. “Let’s see what happens against UC Davis. Let’s see what happens in the black out against Missouri. Let’s see what Vontaze Burfict shows up. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people.”

From all accounts Burfict is ready for a breakout season. The talented linebacker is on the Bednarik and Butkus award watch lists and many have picked the Sun Devils, led by Burfict and the defense, to win the Pac-12 South division this season.

Whether that happens or not hinges on that original question, is Burfict a trouble maker or just misunderstood? With the Sun Devils’ opener right around the corner, fans will all find out the answer soon rather than later.

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Let Vontaze Burfict’s play on the field determine how he’s viewed