Young Alumni Series

Blake Burgess ’13: Combining a Passion for Football and Movies

Blake Burgess, combining his passions for football and movies

“Action” and “hut, hut, hike,” are two phrases Blake Burgess ’13, has heard no shortage of.

Now an athlete and an actor, he most recently got to combine his two passions while playing Mike Allyson in the movie Woodlawn

Woodlawn is a film based on the true story of a high school football team that endured through racial tensions in early 1970s Birmingham.

Burgess said being a part of Woodlawn was an incredible experience.


Blake Burgess (right, #30) played Mike Allyson in the movie Woodlawn.


“I was filming in my hometown of Birmingham for eight weeks and it was truly a mix of my two passions. I got to play football and act all at the same time, all while getting to work with the likes of Jon Voight, Sean Astin, and Sherri Shepherd,” Burgess explained. “Being a co-star in the film also meant I got to enjoy my own trailer and a chance to go to L.A. for the premiere. It was a time I will never forget, and I will forever be grateful to the cast, crew, and our fearless directors: the Erwin brothers.”

Blake came to Auburn as a walk-on in 2009. He played offensive line until he was moved to tight end and fullback for the 2012 season. He is the grandson of Bill Burgess, a fullback at Auburn in 1960.

Although Burgess loves football, he loves entertaining as well and majored in theater. He is the son of Rick Burgess, co-host of the popular syndicated morning radio show `Rick & Bubba,” so with a background full of football and entertainment, he may have been destined to be in movies.

When it came time to give up one passion and begin another Burgess said he was surprisingly okay with it.

Burgess (left, #63) at Auburn in 2011 vs. Utah State.

Burgess (left, #63) at Auburn in 2011 vs. Utah State.

“I have been acting throughout my football career, so when I had to hang up my helmet for the last time, diving into my acting career was an easy transition,” Burgess said. “Thankfully the lessons I learned on the gridiron help me get closer to my acting goals every day.”

And reaching his goals, Burgess certainly is.

He is already booked in two plays this year in Atlanta and is also auditioning for the multitude of TV shows and films that are constantly filming around the area. Burgess said after graduating Auburn this is where he had hoped he would be.

“The road to an acting career is filled rejection and great talent and luck is needed to get ahead,” Burgess said. “I am very blessed to have the credits I have in my young career.”

Burgess’s favorite movie moment so far?

“While working on Woodlawn we had to film a game in the freezing rain for hours and hours. By the end of the night we were so tired, wet and cold that many of our actors had to be taken to the hospital for hypothermia,” Burgess explained. “Though it was a hard night, we all forged a deep bond, and I will not soon forget those friendships.”

Check out the trailer for Woodlawn below. The film is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray nationwide.



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