Tanner Burch Earns Spot On CFPA Linebackers Watch List - GWUSports.com—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Burch ranked No. 2 nationally and paced the Big South with 12.6 tackles per game in 2012.
Courtesy: Gary Smith
Tanner Burch Earns Spot On CFPA Linebackers Watch List
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: June 13, 2013
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DAVIDSON, N.C. – Junior linebacker Tanner Burch was named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Watch List heading into the 2013 season.

Burch (Savannah, Ga. / Savannah Christian Prep) is the fourth Gardner-Webb player to be honored by CFPA this preseason, joining Kenny Cook (receiver), Seth Cranfill (tight end) and Preston Pemasa (defensive line) as one of the top players nationally at his position.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2012, earning All-America honors from College Sports Madness and first-team All-Big South Conference honors after ranked No. 2 nationally and tops in the Big South with 12.6 tackles per game.

Burch played in just nine games for the Runnin' Bulldogs after going down with an injury early in the third quarter of Gardner-Webb's shootout with eventual league champion Coastal Carolina on November 3.

He had at least 10 tackles in eight of the nine games he saw action in last season. Against teams who spent time in the FCS top-25 polls, six of whom appeared on Gardner-Webb's schedule, Burch averaged 13.0 hits per game.

He was twice named Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the first following a 16-tackle performance against Southern Conference contender Samford. Burch's only game without at least 10 stops came in a loss at Big East member Pittsburgh.

Burch's 113 total stops in nine games led Gardner-Webb's defense in 2012. Burch is the latest in a long line of successful defenders to play for current GWU linebackers coach Travis Cunningham – becoming the sixth All-America selection at the position and 19th All-Conference choice since 2001.

A middle linebacker in 2011 and 2012, Burch will remain inside as part of Gardner-Webb's new 3-4 defensive scheme this season. He will be joined on the inside by classmate Bradley Taylor (6-1, 225, Jr.), with the two outside linebackers heading into August projected to be Chad Geter (6-2, 225, So.) and spring standout Arlando Griffin (6-4, 220, RFr.).

Gardner-Webb will have a host of athletic, young linebackers to utilize in 2013, including Azziz Higgins (6-2, 235, So.), Jebrai Regan (6-2, 230, So.) and Michael Cunningham (6-0, 210, So.). The 'Dogs also added a pair of All-State linebackers through the recruiting process – Colorado Springs (Colo.) Classical Academy standout Justin Miller (6-2, 210, Fr.) and Edgefield (S.C.) Strom Thurmond star Aaron Cook (6-1, 210, Fr.).

Burch is one of 17 total players returning who have starting experience on the defensive side of the football for Gardner-Webb.

Gardner-Webb's Division I-AA/FCS All-America Linebackers (Since 2001)
Tory Atkins, 2001, Associated Press 2nd Team, Sports Network 3rd Team
Mario Brown, 2006, Football Gazette honorable mention
Mario Brown, 2007, Sports Network honorable mention
Jeffery Williams, 2008, Sports Network 3rd Team, Associated Press 3rd Team
Marty Patterson, 2011, College Sports Journal honorable mention
Tanner Burch, 2012, College Sports Madness 3rd Team



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