After camping at Arkansas State in June and speaking with first-year head coach Gus Malzhan, Chequan Burkett out of Montgomery (Ala.) Jefferson Davis High School is high on the Red Wolves. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound safety/outside linebacker is even ready to name Arkansas State as his co-leader after a busy summer schedule.
"I had a good camp [at Arkansas State]," said Chequan Burkett. "They had offered me before just from my highlight tape. I had a 4.6 forty, a 4.4 shuttle, and a 34 (inch) vertical at camp and did well in the one-on-one drills. They like me at safety. Coach Gunn said he likes my ball skills, my instincts, my aggressive play in being able to come up and make the big hits.
"Coach Malzahn is taking the program to a new level. They're upgrading the facilities and will be getting a lot of TV exposure. When I was at camp I had a chance to talk with all of the coaches. It's a cool staff who I could see myself playing for. I'll have to say they're in my top two right now with Vanderbilt."
"It's going to be a family decision," Burkett explained. "We're looking at education, first and foremost. From the football side of it, I want to have a good relationship with the coaches and a chance at early playing time. I probably won't commit until our season is over. We have a good shot at winning at state championship this year so I want to focus on that and take a few official visits."
Arkansas State likes Burkett in the secondary while others, such as Vanderbilt, think he can play outside linebacker. At Jefferson Davis, he plays both for head coach Vincent Wiggins.
"Last season, I was the team's leading tackler," he said. "I had two picks, six forced fumbles, and blocked a couple of field goals. We went 7-4 and I was named All-District honorable mention. During the spring, I felt like I'm taking better angles and improving my ball skills. I want to get the school's interception record next year. My position coach has it and I want to get it from him before I leave."
Burkett's father, Corey, was a excellent football player in his own right at Jefferson Davis (Class of 1989) and went on to play a couple of years at Auburn. Burkett is being recruited by Rhett Lashlee, who has strong Alabama ties after coaching stints at Samford and Auburn.