Speedy Standout Has Tigers Atop His List

This athletic defensive back prospect has the Tigers at the top of his favorites list and recently made a trip to the Plains.

Eustis, Fla.--Joe Burnett is a speedy two-way standout for Eustis High, who is holding four offers and is also hearing from quite a few big name colleges in the South.

"I have an offer from the University of Central Florida, South Florida, Boston College and Western Kentucky," Burnett says.

The 5-11, 180-pound defensive back prospect with 4.47 speed adds that he has been hearing from those colleges and some others lately. "UCF and South Florida mostly have been calling me a lot," Burnett explains. "I got a couple of call from Coach (Auburn wide receivers coach Greg) Knox inviting me up to the (LSU) game and Western Kentucky has been calling a lot. I am also hearing from FSU, Miami and Georgia."

The talented prospect, who is playing defensive back, where he has been a four-year starter, and his first season at quarterback, says that he did make it up to Auburn to check out the LSU game and came away impressed. "We had a blast," he notes. "I took a couple of friends that haven't been before. We had fun. The game was exciting, very exciting. I talked to coach (Gene) Chizik and Coach Knox.

"The game, the crowd and just the game stuff," he says was his favorite part of the trip. "How the crowd was so into the game when they were down. Every possession of the game everyone in the crowd was standing up and just cheering them on. I love the atmosphere there."

The Eustis senior says that he is also planning on checking out college games at UCF, South Florida and Florida State this fall and that he wants to make it up for another Auburn game.

As for favorites at this point, Burnett says that there are some teams that are distancing themselves from the others. "Auburn, UCF, Georgia, Miami and Florida would be the top five," he explains. "The top two would be Auburn and UCF.

"What stands out about UCF is that they are close to home," he adds. "It is in Florida and just the support and stuff that I get from home. And Auburn, I just love the atmosphere. I mean, it feels like home to me up in Alabama and I just feel that I can relate to the coaches and the players are like brothers to me and everything there is just nice."

After opening the season by returning the opening kick for a touchdown and then winning the game in overtime with a TD scramble, Burnett says that opposing teams have started scheming away from him. "The second game was kind of a game where they isolated me out the whole game," he explains. "When we were on defense they didn't throw a pass to my side. On offense, I think I finished with 80 yards rushing and one touchdown and that was it so it was kind of a slow game on offense, too.

"Then we played South Lake where I had two touchdowns and I deflected three passes," he adds. "I don't remember how many yards I had, but it was another game where they didn't punt to me, they didn't throw to my side much, they didn't kickoff to me and I didn't play the second half."

He says that he didn't play in the second half because his team was up by a large margin and he had an injury in the first half. "I went up for an interception and I landed on my shoulder the wrong way and I kind of separated my AC, so I didn't play the second half," Burnett explains. "It was just a slight separation. I have been to the doctor and it is feeling better and I am rotating it and things like that much better."

The junior added that the injury was only a minor setback and he planned to be back to full speed for Eustis' next game.

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