Wednesday, July 24, 2013
2016 WR Burton ready to prove himself
By Blair Angulo
Before wunderkind Nathan Tilford (Upland, Calif./Upland) stole the headlines by picking up a scholarship offer from USC without having played a single down of high school football, Class of 2016 receiver Brandon Burton (Gardena, Calif./Serra) was the talk of the local recruiting scene.
Serra's depth and talent might make it hard for sophomore receiver Brandon Burton to reach the high goals he has set for himself.
Burton, with an impressive offer list consisting of Florida, Florida State, UCLA, USC and Utah, generated buzz with a solid spring and was quickly labeled as the next great prospect from powerhouse Serra, set to follow in the footsteps of standouts Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, George Farmer and current five-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson.
When the Trojans offered on May 21, Burton knew he would no longer fly under the radar, especially in Southern California.
"I am going to attract more attention when I'm in the game, because of the offers that I have," Burton said. "The pressure is always going to be there, but I'm going to take the field every Friday and play my game, play to my strengths and my abilities."
Expectations will be high for the sophomore, though they might be a bit unrealistic given the depth at Serra, which carries a bevy of talented upperclassmen on its roster. Boise State quarterback commit Jalen Greene will have his share of options to choose from in Jackson, UCLA receiver commit Jordan Lasley and Gregory Webb.
Will there be enough passes to go around? And, if Burton doesn't fill up the stat sheet every week, will it mean he's not worthy of all the notoriety he has received early in his high school career?
“Jalen and I have a good chemistry already,” Burton said. “We work a lot together, and I feel like I'm going to have my share of catches, too.”
Burton and Greene put on a show at the recent Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison “Battle at the Beach” tournament, but heading into the season, Burton is slotted as a backup on offense and starting safety on defense. Still, the 6-foot, 175-pound athlete has lofty goals of at least 40 catches, 600 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns this fall.
“At this point, safety is a possibility for me at the next level, but right now, I'm leaning more toward receiver,” Burton said. “At receiver, I like how you're isolated. It's just you against a corner, and your job is to beat him in order to get points on the board.
"On defense they want me to get some interceptions, force turnovers and break up some passes. Playing with guys like Adoree', Glen Ihenacho and Dwight Williams, I've learned that our defense is real physical. If you're not physical playing in our defense, you won't survive. It's all about getting stronger and balling out every week."
Burton is so motivated to perform that he doesn't plan on visiting any schools outside of Los Angeles during the season.
"The big goal for me is to help my team get back to the state championship game," Burton said. "I'll do whatever I can to help us get there."