Georgia Tech center Freddie Burden takes a bite out of the hedges savoring a 28-27 victory over Georgia in a NCAA college football rivalry football game on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Athens. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Healing from injury, Burden will take part in Tech’s pro day

Former Georgia Tech center Freddie Burden is still mending from his injury at the TaxSlayer Bowl. But he’ll take part in Tech’s pro day Friday morning to the best of his ability.

Burden, who is walking after suffering a broken ankle in the third quarter of the Yellow Jackets’ bowl game win over Kentucky on New Year’s Eve, will be weighed and measured by scouts and will also take part in the bench-press portion of the evaluation.

With his rehabilitation schedule, he doesn’t expect to be able to work out for scouts prior to the NFL draft. He takes encouragement from two former teammates who were in similar predicaments but managed to make it to the NFL – former Tech wide receiver DeAndre Smelter and defensive tackle Adam Gotsis. Both tore their ACL’s late in their senior seasons, which rendered them unable to test for scouts before the draft. Both, though, were drafted.

“It’s kind of one of those things,” Burden said. “The timing sucked, but everything worked out for those guys. I’m hoping the same for me.”

Burden said that his agent is receiving interest from NFL teams. There’s plenty to like. Burden started for three seasons for the Jackets and was a literal driving force of the Tech line. He was named third-team All-ACC as a senior. He has quickness and good size for the position – 6-foot-4 and 299 pounds – and has demonstrated character and resolve on and off the field.

He has continued working on his upper-body training, at one point wheeling around the Tech weight room on a scooter. He moved to crutches and can now walk freely. He said he’ll visit his doctor next week and hopes to be cleared for the next step, perhaps running on an underwater treadmill.

“Everything seems to be going on track,” Burden said.

Burden will be one of seven Tech draft hopefuls participating in the pro day Friday. He’ll take part in the bench press, a test of repetitions of 225 pounds. He hopes to clear 20 reps.

A year to remember for Freddie Burden

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