Between Shawn Burgess-Becker and Calvin Ridley, a lot can be accomplished on the football field. Each senior is a Scout 100 prospect and has potential on both sides of the football. Each can play wide receiver, where Ridley is tabbed as a five-star and the No. 2 talent in America, and each can play defensive back. Ridley was once a four-star cornerback on the network, while Bugess-Becker is currently the No. 6 safety projection in the 2015 class.
The bigger of the close friends and Alabama commitments, Burgess-Becker, remains unsure of his future position.
“I don’t really have a preferred position. Wherever a team needs me, I’ll play,” he said. “I just want to get on the field and play, that’s all. I just want to play football.”
At Coconut Creek (Fla.) Monarch High, where the Knights have already clinched the district title with an undefeated run this fall, Burgess-Becker plays a lot on each side of the ball. The offense is explosive in the passing game and the defense has flashed dominance on this run.
The four-star doesn’t mind having multiple roles, though his potential as a pass-catcher may be untapped to this point.
“I don’t get tired, we train very hard in practice. All the stuff we do prepares us for Friday’s, so I don’t get tired. I just do what I have to do,” he said. “I have not really been coached by a real (wide receiver) coach. Once I get around those people, it can really expose my talent.”
Alabama may agree with Scout in placing Burgess-Becker on defense first, as a versatile safety with his 6-foot, 200-pound frame. On that side of the ball there may be some more comfort.
“I feel like I just do a great job encouraging the players on my side of the ball to keep going,” he said. “I try to keep everybody on track. I have good instincts within my game.”
Said game is still being coveted by many programs, though no official visits are set, including a trip to Tuscaloosa.
“I’m almost a solid commitment to Alabama, I love the school a lot,” he said. “Schools have always been on me, on my phone and Twitter. Miami, Auburn, and a couple of schools are on me the hardest. Very hard.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll take a couple of visits.”
Ridley (left) and Burgess-Becker at Nike’s prestigious summer camp, The Opening.
The timing favors Nick Saban’s program, as both Burgess-Becker and Ridley are looking to enroll in January.
“I wanted to get there early so I can get to school, get on the workout plan, learn the playbook and get some playing time as quick as I can,” he said.
As has been the plan all the way through, though, one will not head to Alabama or any program without the other.
“We’ve known each other for a long time, like second-grade,” Burgess-Becker said. “We know how each other plays, we know each other well. And growing up, we always played football together so we thought we should go to the same school to continue what we’re doing.”
The duo delivered the news to Saban and company during a trip to Tuscaloosa in mid-April.
“They’ve got to understand that this is our decision to make, and it is for our future,” he said. “A-Day was a great feeling to know we both made that decision to close out this stuff and get settled for the next level.”
Since then, tabs have been kept on the No. 7 Crimson Tide, a program one of its top commitments feels can end up in the initial College Football Playoff.
“I feel like they can still get back into it,” Burges-Becker said. “ They’re still performing pretty well. They shouldn’t have a problem getting back to where they’re usually at.”