YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Whether it’s on the gridiron, the basketball court or in the classroom with a 4.1 GPA, Ursuline senior Will Burney has always strived to be the best.

“My mindset is to always just work hard, anything I do. So I’m very studious — I go home, I make note cards, I do little quizzes at home, stuff like that. But I also like both sides of the field, on the court, in the classroom. I have to just be… I want to be the best,” Burney said.

He’s certainly made his mark on the Irish football program as a three-time All Steel Valley selection, two-time All-Mahoning County, two-time All Northeast Ohio and an All-State defensive back selection his senior year.

“I think the biggest thing for me was this offseason training, and I train like crazy this year,” Burney said. “So I think just that preparation for this season allows me to separate myself from others and then just show my ability on the field this year.”

But the BIG 22 contender and Irish playmaker didn’t plan for it to happen that way.

“I came for basketball because that’s what I would… I was a basketball player, I play everything else but it was basketball,” Burney said. “Once COVID happened, I gained some weight and then I just started to love football a little more, so that’s where the transition happened.”

In the end, Burney will graduate with eight varsity letters after football and basketball all four years, along with that perfect grade point average — a perfect combination for the Burney family that he’ll carry on in college.

“Academics was always a major part for me. My family and dad always wanted me bringing home As, but I think that just became a part of me naturally and I just love, like, just having more knowledge,” Burney said.