Prolific Passer Talks About Visit to Auburn

Quarterback Jabe Burgess talks about his meeting with Gus Malzahn and members of his Auburn football coaching staff.

Greenwood, Ark.--After a monster junior season in which he led Greenwood High School to the Arkansas Class 6A state championship, quarterback Jabe Burgess is attracting attention from colleges like Auburn, the place he visited on Friday to meet with Gus Malzahn's coaching staff.

Burgess drove up to the Auburn campus from Pensacola, Fla., where the pitcher/outfielder was participating in a baseball tournament. However, football is the sport he will play collegiately.

The recruit got to spend quality time with head coach Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Rhett Lashlee as well as running backs coach Tim Horton. Burgess already knew Horton from the coach's time at the University of Arkansas and knows Malzahn and Lashlee from their time at Arkansas State.

"I talked with Coach Lashlee for about 30 minutes and I also talked to Coach Malzahn for about 30 minutes," the recruit said. "Coach Horton showed me around campus.

"Coach Malzahn and I are building a relationship," Burgess said. "He told me how the coaches on his staff are all really high character guys. I was glad to hear that. I think he is a great role model for the players and recruits to look up to.

"Coach Lashlee talked about the offensive philosophy and what Auburn has to offer and where we are moving forward," he said. "They want to see me throw a couple more times before they can commit to me and I commit to them.

"Coach Lashlee talked about how it would easy for me to move into their offense because it is basically the same offense he ran in high school and it is what they are running at Auburn. I was real excited about that.

"They are going to come watch me in spring practice and I am going to try to get out to a camp (at Auburn) sometime this summer and keep building a relationship with these coaches," he added. "I enjoyed my visit. I had great time."

An honor student at Greenwood High, Burgess is planning to graduate in December. His goal is to have a decision made on his college prior to the start of his senior season, but noted if he doesn't feel ready to do it by that time he will wait.

His first two offers are from Tulsa and Illinois. He is also being recruited by Oklahoma State, Alabama and the home-state Arkansas Razorbacks where his cousin, Tyler Wilson, was a star quarterback.

"Tyler has given me great advice," the quarterback recruit said. "We worked out a lot over Christmas break. He told me to find the right place for me. He has helped me a lot because he has been to a lot of places. I will ask him, ‘What do you think about this school or that school?' He will give me advice because he has been to a lot of them."

Burgess completed a seldom-seen 82 percent of his passes last fall as he hit 219 of 265 throws for 3,128 yards and 36 touchdowns. In helping his team finish 14-0, the quarterback threw just five interceptions.

Asked how he was able to put together such an impressive stats line in his first season as a starter, the quarterback said, "I have a great coaching staff and those guys are working so hard every day I wasn't surprised. Coach Young, our offensive coordinator, and Coach Jones, our head coach, do such a good job.

"That is also true with everybody around me from the defense to the offensive linemen and receivers," Burgess added. "We were all committed. We wanted to win every game, every snap. That is how we did."

The quarterback said his goals as a senior are to help the team repeat as conference and state champions. Greenwood has won 38 consecutive football games. "We have a great offensive line coming back, a solid defense and great running backs so we are expecting to have another good year," he said.

His personal goals are to work on become bigger, stronger and faster. "I am 6-2, 200 and I am going to try to put on more healthy weight," he said.

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