Never thought twice about Burfict until now. This article from nine days ago is informative.
The 21-year-old Burfict seems to have two personalities: He's aggressive and tenacious on the field -- sometimes too tenacious -- and shy and reserved off it. "I would totally agree," said Brandie LaBomme, who has been dating Burfict for two years. Sometimes when LaBomme watches Burfict buzz around on the football field, she can't believe it's the same guy she shares an apartment with in Tempe, along with their two dogs -- a Pomeranian named Puff and a Chihuahua named Chacho.
"At first, he did not like the dogs," LaBomme said. "Now, he loves them. The first thing he does when he comes home is go to the dogs and give them hugs and kisses. Then he'll say, 'Oh, hi, Babe.' "
Lisa Williams, Burfict's mom, will tell you that Vontaze has always been a shy guy. When he was a toddler and family or friends would visit and dote on him -- "Oh, Vontaze, look how much you have grown. Come over here and let me see you." -- he would hide behind his mother's legs.
Williams was in a gang with her boyfriend, Vontaze DeLeon Burfict in south L.A., when she was 22 and found out she was pregnant with Vontaze Jr., who was born on Sept. 24, 1990. Not long after that, the boyfriend was arrested and found guilty of possession of cocaine with intent to sell it. He has been incarcerated most of the time ever since, and Vontaze Jr. has never had a relationship with him.
Two of the people who have influenced Burfict most have been his uncle, Darryl Jones (Lisa's brother), and Vontaze's older half brother, DaShan Miller, 25. "Not having a dad growing up, I felt like my brother has been my brother and my dad," Burfict said. "And my uncle has helped me business-wise, life-wise because he's been around me since I was young.
He desperately needs a good mentor on the team. So whom might that be? LB coach Paul Guenther or assistant LB coach David Lippincott? Linebackers Rey Maualuga, Thomas Howard, or Manny Lawson? It better be somebody.
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