Athlete of the Week: Mt. Vernon senior tight end earns state position award


Being named the top tight end in Indiana high school football wasn’t on Mt. Vernon senior George Burhenn’s radar before the season.

“I forgot there was even an award at the beginning of the season, but then I saw that this would be pretty cool to win if I perform how I should,” Burhenn said.

Burhenn recently was named the Indiana Football Coaches Association Mr. Football Position Award winner for tight end.


The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Burhenn caught 38 passes for 784 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had 16 carries for 127 yards and one touchdown for Mt. Vernon (6-4).

“He had a huge year for us with the production on the offensive side of the ball and special teams,” Marauders coach Vince Lidy said.

As a junior, Burhenn had 28 receptions for 443 yards for the Marauders (14-1), who won the Class 4A state title in 2021.

Lidy said Burhenn was a difference-maker as a junior, but the team had more offensive weapons. This past season, Lidy said teams prepared to stop Burhenn. In practice, Lidy said they prepared for Burhenn to be double-teamed.

“He was super coachable as we put him anywhere from a running back, to a slot back, to tight end to wideout,” Lidy said. “(Teams) are going to try to take him away as Options 1 or 2 if they can. He was able to have a productive year.”

Burhenn said he has made the most improvement with his versatility.

“I improved on all my weaknesses like blocking and running after the catch,” he said.

Burhenn also played safety, sharing the position with another player.

“Once we started playing the better teams, I was basically playing the whole game,” he said.

Burhenn averaged 18.9 yards on kickoff returns and 19.5 yards on punt returns last season.

“Returning kicks is always a dream to do, and you don’t see many big guys like me doing it, so it was pretty fun,” he said.

Burhenn, who played basketball for Mt. Vernon until this season, competes in the hurdles and 1,600-meter relay on the track and field team.

Burhenn said has committed to play football for Purdue University, but with the recent coaching change, he is keeping his options open. Coach Jeff Brohm left Purdue to take the University of Louisville coaching job, and several staff members have left with him. Former University of Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters was named Purdue’s coach Dec. 13.”

“I’ll probably check out Louisville a little bit because the coaches I know are there, but I’ll talk with my family and see what is best for me,” Burhenn said.

Favorite athlete: Taysom Hill

Favorite subject: Science

Favorite movie: “The Wolf of Wolf Street”

Ideal vacation spot: Aruba