Sept. 25, 2006
As a child Darrell Burston was given the nickname Dinka, which means warrior, by his mother.
Throughout his career at Florida State, he has been true to this challenging name. Burston has overcome a number of set-backs, including injuries to his hamstring, knee and shoulder. After each injury, he per-severed through the recovery to put himself in a position to return to competitive play on Florida State’s defensive unit.
Darrell is a leader on and off the field. His position of defensive end is a high-impact slot that is counted on for stopping the run, rushing the quarterback and containing any reverse plays that an opposing offense puts in.
“Darrell is a great guy off the field,” junior defensive end DJ Norris said. “If you ever need anything as far as school or anything going on with your life, or you have a problem, you can talk to Darrell.
“As a player, Darrell is a sound football player. He never really makes mistakes that are going to get us beat in a play or be out of his gap.”
For this season, Burston has a set a goal of having 10 quarterback sacks. But this personal goal is secondary to the team goals of beating Florida and Miami to win the Florida football title. The title dream does not stop there because Darrell’s ultimate goal is to help this Seminole team earn a national championship.
During Burston’s years at Florida State he already has accomplished many goals he had set for himself on the playing field and as an individual.
Defensive ends coach Jody Allen said of Burston, “He is a very conscientious young man. Some people would describe him as a straight arrow. He lives a Christian life and is an exemplary leader in a quiet way and just does the right thing. He’s never late for a practice, a meeting and never missed an assignment.
It has been a great pleasure to work with Darrell for these years he has been with us.”
One of Burston’s biggest accomplishments has been growth in his faith. He says this growth helped him to overcome the injuries, meet the pressures of college academics and athletics and prepare for a whole new career using his Information Technology degree.
Darrell Burston has gone from being a kid in Fayetteville, Ga., who loved basketball to a 6-2, 240-pound starting defensive end for Florida State. Football was not on his list of things to do as a high school student.
Basketball was his game and only through some convincing discussions with his friends and coaches did he even try out for his high school team.
One of the greatest memories Burston says of his days at Florida State has been the privilege of playing for Coach Bobby Bowden.
He states that Coach has been a “big example in many different ways.” Darrell’s parents also have been a huge influence in his life. His stepfather always has been a big part of his life and a consistent encourager.
As a high school student Burston was uncertain about his future. He certainly never imagined playing football at Florida State. In the words of Burston, “playing at Florida State is a big-time blessing from God.”
From being a good student with a 3.0 grade point average, an excellent role model for his teammates, and as a player conquering obstacles he has faced, Darrell Burston has lived up to his nickname given to him by his mom years ago.
As he leaves his Garnet and Gold home, Burston offers this advice to his teammates, “Take advantage of every opportunity that comes to you and your time will come soon — because time flies.”
By Lindsey Crutcher Florida State Sports Information