Pulling Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln wide receiver John Burt away from his hometown Florida State Seminoles and out of the state of Florida would seem like a monumental task on the surface, but the 6'3, 179-pounder has the Texas Longhorns out in front.
Burt visited Austin shortly after National Signing Day back in February, solidifying his offer status and moving the Horns well up his list.
Following a recent visit to Florida, Burt told Gator Bait where Texas stands ($):
"All the schools I've been too are the same, so I'm pretty much considering all of them right now. I'm thinking Texas is somewhere a little bit ahead, but all the other schools are pretty close behind there."
And the productive pass catcher has been plenty busy taking visits recently, as he's also tripped to Alabama, Auburn, and Miami.
So what makes Texas stand out? Comfort level is important to him and comfortable is how he feels in Austin:
"It kind of seems like home away from home being there a lot early on in my life, I've gotten used to it. The area and stuff, I'm kind of comfortable there. Every place has a little bit of something though."
Surprisingly enough, the positive comments from Burt about the Longhorns over the last month and a half haven't resulted in any movement in the 247Sports Crystal Ball projections. In fact, all 11 predictions remain in favor of the Seminoles.
Ranked as the No. 8 wide receiver in the country, the No. 17 player in Florida, and the No. 91 player nationally, Burt is a highly-coveted prospect closing in on 20 offers. In addition to the in-state schools and the schools he has visited recently, LSU, Ohio State, and USC have all offered, among others.
So what's going on? Is it just too early for talk about a leader to impact his ultimate projection? Is Burt just trying to convince people that his recruitment is more open than it really is to maintain some suspense before he ultimately picks Florida State.
It's possible, but based on his public comments to a site that doesn't even cover Texas football, Burt would seem to be the most likely of the wide receiver offers to end up in burnt orange, at least until in-state products like Cedar Hill's Damarkus Lodge and Cypress Ridge's Kemah Siverand actually make it to campus and potentially move the Horns back into contention as a result.
And what is it that makes Burt with a highly-regarded prospect?
First of all, Burt is a good athlete -- he ran a 4.59 40 at a Nike event, along with posting a more impressive vertical jump of 34 inches and a 20-yard shuttle of 4.25. As he matures physically, he should be able to improve on that verified 40 time, because his football speed is impressive.
Still in need of development in his upper body, Burt has long arms and a lanky build at this time. Eventually, he should play between 190 and 200 pounds and the fact that he's already added some weight over the last year indicates he's not a hard gainer.
An impact player on special teams, Burt not only makes plays as a punt and kick returner, but he's also a member of the coverage unit, blocks punts, field goals, and extra points, notably blows up a punt returner downfield with a vicious form tackle, and blocks for a teammate on one punt return. In fact, Burt plays in nearly every phase of special teams for Lincoln, with the probable exception of his school's field goal unit. But maybe he even does that, too.
As a receiver, he's a smooth player in the open field, but he can also make defenders because he's got some impressive shake for a prospect of his size. That size also allows him to run through tacklers at his shoulders or at his feet.
Burt also has the body control to adjust to football and the hands to attack the ball outside of his frame.
If the Horns can't land Lodge in what will be a small wide receiver class, getting a signature from Burt would be quite the consolation prize.