Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Burks attended Vanderbilt University where he flexed his athletic versatility making starts at several different positions along the Commodores defense. As a safety, hybrid safety/linebacker and inside linebacker, Burks totaled 228 tackles, 4.5 sacks, five interceptions, 15.5 tackles for loss, 21 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.
In his senior year, Burks ranked No. 15 in the SEC in total tackles. He concluded his collegiate career with 40 starts in 45 appearances and in 2017 was ranked as the team’s leader in several defensive statistical categories including total tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions.