Once buried under a deluge of dropped passes, Texas Longhorns junior wide receiver John Burt is on the ascent during preseason camp, as head coach Tom Herman indicated on Monday that Burt is rotating with the first team.
With sophomore Collin Johnson holding down the starting role at X wide receiver, Burt has been competing with junior Jerrod Heard and senior Dorian Leonard at the Z position.
Given that Leonard has been singled out for praise by coaches and Heard is growing into the position after moving from quarterback during preseason camp last season, Burt has clearly worked through some of his issues with his hands and his confidence.
The 6’3, 200-pounder opted to focus on football instead of track this spring after he fell out of the rotation in 2016 following his fast start against Notre Dame. If there was some progress from Burt, it was hardly a storyline during those 15 practices.
Early in preseason camp, Herman said that Burt was working with the second team and that his pass-catching ability was “better, not great.”
However, the speed that earned Burt a trip to the NCAA Championships as a freshman and sophomore hurdler has helped him show up on practice footage released by the team and put himself firmly in the mix to become a starter once again.
Until Burt proves that his hands are more reliable on Saturdays, some cautiousness is probably warranted with the Florida native, but his trajectory does seem to be much more positive now than it has been in nearly a year.