- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama has a knack for finding talent on the recruiting trail. It’s why they’ve won back-to-back national championships. Recently the staff discovered Shawn Burgess-Becker (Coconut Creek, Fla./Monarch), a 2015 athlete.
It didn’t matter that Burgess-Becker didn’t have any scholarship offers yet. New UA assistant coach Mario Cristobal called last week to give him one from the Crimson Tide.
“First of all, he’s a real good guy,” Burgess-Becker said. “He talked to me about my family, how school’s going, stuff like that. He said he was impressed by my highlights and how I did at the camps, and he was like, ‘We would love to offer you.’ It felt great.”
Burgess-Becker was blown away by the offer, but he’s still unfamiliar with the Alabama program. He plans to visit Tuscaloosa in June for the Tide’s camp.
“They have a really good football team, but I’ve never been to the campus and stuff,” he said. “I don’t really know that much about them.”
Hialeah (Fla.) High School offensive coordinator Dennis Marroquin, Burgess-Becker’s 7-on-7 coach, believes Alabama was smart for jumping on the sophomore early and being the first school to offer.
“He’s going to be a national recruit when it’s all said and done,” Marroquin said. “Alabama struck first. [Cristobal] offered the kid first before anybody else in the country. We’re talking about a monster. This kid’s going to be a beast.
“Alabama took one of my other players last year, Eddie Jackson. He played defensive back and wide receiver, and he was special, but this kid here, he just plays so strong and so physical on both sides. He’s a very special player.”
After the Tide offered, it didn’t take long for Burgess-Becker’s second offer to come in. Later the same day, the 2015 prospect received an offer from Miami, the local school.
“I like the campus up there,” he said. “The fans are good. The football team is pretty good. I just like that campus. I grew up around that team.”
As a sophomore, Burgess-Becker recorded close to 70 tackles and had five interceptions.