Burrell Watches Game, Makes Pledge

Justin Burrell couldn't wait any longer. After watching a Big East game on Sunday, he walked into a crowded locker room and made his pledge.

The St. John's Red Storm experienced the agony of a tough defeat on Sunday. Then, shortly after dropping a conference game at the hands of West Virginia, a 2007 recruit gave them a recruiting victory.

Justin Burrell, a 6-foot-7, 215 pound power forward out of Our Savior Lutheran in the Bronx, committed to Norm Roberts and the St. John's staff.

"I committed today actually directly after the game," Burrell said. "I went into the locker room and spoke with Coach Roberts and told him I would like come. I just thought it was the right time but there wasn't a specific reason."

Burrell, presently a senior, is averaging 12 points and 13 rebounds a game. Not too shabby for a guy who has only been playing organized ball for two seasons.

"I really didn't know anything about St. John's," Burrell said. "Actually, I knew nothing at all about college basketball. I started playing in 10th grade up in Middletown, N.Y., and then I moved down to the city and got introduced to how serious it could be and the talent I have.

"Then, I started following college basketball at the end of my junior year. This year I was looking at a lot of college programs and I felt St. John's would be the best fit for me. Coach Roberts has only been there for two years and the way he changed the program in those two years is amazing to me. They're hanging with everyone that they've played."

For Burrell, the decision to take a prep year was pretty easy. "The scholarship is for the 2007 class. Prior to that I was making the decision to go to prep school so it fit anyways. I haven't been playing basketball as long as most of the other kids. That was a big decision and it wouldn't hurt for my grades as well."

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