On Sept. 30 against TCU, Aubrey Burks was down on the ground and there was a shock sent throughout West Virginia’s sideline. 

Aubrey Burks — one of the Mountaineers’ leaders on and off the field — was motionless, waiting for the cart to take him off the field. 

“Probably one of the scariest injuries I had playing football, once I hit the ground I knew something was wrong,” Burks said in a press conference, Monday.

Although it looked grim, Burks’ injury was fortunately better than everyone initially thought. 

“They (doctors in Ft. Worth) [were] just saying it was a bad concussion,” he said.

In terms of the play that caused it, Burks recalls the tackle being awkward. 

“As I was going down, my neck was kind of turned going in for the tackle. I’m not taught to tackle like that, (I’m taught) always have your head up,” he said. 

Burks might’ve been more concerned about the game than his health, saying he “wanted to jump up,” he said about hearing of the Mountaineers victory in the hospital.

Burks was not going home alone however, Trey Lathan who joined Burks in the hospital shortly after with a lower leg injury needed more extensive care as he was also carted off the field.

“If we need to stay this extra day for him (Lathan), I wanted to stay. I’m not in a rush or anything, I just want to make sure we all get back safe,” Burks said. 

Burks was back in action less than a month later in Morgantown, against Oklahoma State where he made five total tackles in the loss. 

Most recently against BYU, Burks made a heads-up play forcing and recovering a fumble, his first of the season as the Cougars were driving. The safety for West Virginia also has 28 total tackles (24 solo), four pass breakups, three tackles for loss (all before injury), an interception and half a sack on the year. 

“I want to help my team, help this defense accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish. So, once I heard that I was cleared and everything and was able to get back to football, I was definitely excited,” Burks said.