BYU is First to Offer Burt

Bronco Mendenhall and the BYU coaching staff recently extended a scholarship offer to Box Elder High School two-way prospect Riley Burt. Burt is considered one of the more athletic football prospects in the state of Utah in the 2015 recruiting class.

Coming in at around 6'2", 195-pounds, and a 35 inch vertical jump, Riley Burt has size to go along with good track speed, making him an intriguing prospect. He recorded a 10.95, 100-meter time on May 2nd at the BYU Invitational. He also recorded a 21.93 on May 16th at the UHSAA State Track Championships.

Burt attended BYU's recent Junior Day and was invited into Coach Mendenhall's office for a special offer.

"They invited me to junior day and so I went down there and did that. I worked out all day at the cornerback position with Coach Howell," said Burt. "Then they invited me to go eat with the coaches and tour the campus. I really like the coaches over there; they seem to really know what they're doing. I really like the school and the football program. Anyhow, after that Coach Mendenhall invited me and my dad into his office. That's when he offered me."

Burt was born in the state of Alabama and lived there until he was adopted by the Burt family who raised him as one of their own in a strong LDS home in the state of Utah. When Riley received his offer from Coach Mendenhall, his father was extremely proud of him.

"When Coach Mendenhall had me read the paper saying that I was being offered a scholarship by BYU, I was so excited," Burt said. "My dad was probably more excited than I was. He was really excited. He thinks BYU is a great school. He really wants me to go there but we'll see."

BYU's scholarship offer was Burt's first scholarship offer, making it all the more special.

"Yeah, it was my first college offer," he said. "For it to be an offer from BYU makes it really special for me and my family. My dad and I talked about it all the way home after I got the offer from Coach Mendenhall. It really was a special experience for me and my dad."

Because of his athleticism, Burt has played on both sides of the ball at the running back position and will play more defensive back this season during his senior year at Box Elder High School (UT). The coaches at BYU have told him that he could pick which side of the ball he would like to play if he chooses BYU.

"I was talking to the coaches while playing at the seven-on-seven tournament, and I asked them, ‘So what do you want me to play at BYU?'" recalled Burt with a chuckle. "They told me, ‘You're a really good athlete that could play either side of the ball, so whatever side you decide to pick is good enough for us.' So, it's pretty much up to me I guess."

If Burt were to pick BYU what position would he choose to play?

"Well, I don't know," he said. "I'm kind of new at corner. I do feel like I would be good once I got it down. I like running back a lot, so I don't know. I like them both."

Last season at the running back position, Burt stated he ran for around 750 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He also caught around three passes a game last year as well, while at the same time carrying the ball 80 times during the season. He also recorded around 27 total tackles from the cornerback position.

Although Burt has been more successful as a running back, averaging around 7.0 yards per carry, he might find himself more suited for defensive back. Nick Howell has been Burt's primary recruiter.

"Coach Howell is a really good guy and he knows how to coach his players to play the game," Burt said. "He knows the game and he loves the game. He's a really good guy and talking to him, you can tell he cares for his players. He's a really good guy."

Along with Coach Howell, BYU Running Backs Coach Mark Atuaia is also taking a look at Burt for his speed and ball-carrying skills to be used on the offensive side of the ball. According to Burt, both coaches have tugged at him in an effort to persuade him to choose their side of the ball.

"Yeah, it would be a little bit strange to be recruited by Coach Howell then to not play defense," Burt said with a chuckle. "I think he really wants me over there to play in his secondary. I know he and Mark Atuaia are fighting over me. Coach Atuaia keeps saying, ‘You're my NFL running back' and Coach Howell keeps saying, ‘You're my NFL cornerback.' It's pretty funny."

Although BYU is the only school to offer Burt, more could be coming in for him on the near horizon. He feels that Utah might pull the trigger soon and Utah State is also looking at him. Boise State and UNLV are also taking a serious look at him as well.

"BYU is my only offer right now," he said. "Utah and Utah State are taking a hard look at me a lot, and so are Boise State and UNLV as well. I think Utah might offer me soon, but I'm not 100 percent sure. I went to their camp last week and did really well. I did really well at running back."

Burt doesn't have plans to serve a mission at this point in time. His desires are to attend college, study, and play football. He has one more year of high school football to play, but when it comes to making a final decision on where he will play, and with only one offer in hand that would mean BYU, he'll wait until just prior to the start of next season to make that decision.

"I'll probably make a final decision before my senior year [starts]," he said. "I'll probably make it within the next month or two."

Stay tuned Cougar fans. We'll continue to monitor Burt's recruitment and update you on when he makes a decision.

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