Duke Pitching Academics To Fla. DE

One of the better Florida defensive end prospects in the class of 2011 is Venice (Fla.) High standout Clay Burton. The 6'4, 225 pounder was recently scouted by the Blue Devils. But is an offer on the table? Is one coming? Burton spoke to TDD to provide the scoop.

"I know Duke was at our practice last week," said Clay Burton. "But I didn't get a chance to talk to him and really I haven't talked to them much aside from receiving letters at this point. I would really like to visit the campus because the program appears to be on the way up and competitive."

Currently Burton has verifiable offers from a number of top programs including Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Stanford, Tennessee, and West Virginia. He admits programs such as Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Clemson, Tennessee, and West Virginia are sticking out the most.

With so many programs calling, what is Duke's recruiting pitch for Burton? And how is he dealing with the attention and demands of the recruiting process?

"Really it's kind of overwhelming at times, but I have a really great supporting cast that helps me stay motivated and keeps my head on straight. With Duke, they are selling the idea of coming in and getting a great education while playing at a developing, competitive program. Their actions on the field have really showed that they are serious about building something there."

The academic appeal may be the Blue Devils' top pitch if things progress says Burton.

"Education is my top factor. After that it's the coaching staff's stability, followed by the program's ability to compete for championships and the chance to earn early playing time."

Burton is described by Scout.com's Greg Voyt as follows:

"He possesses substantial size, athleticism, and strength. He moves laterally extremely well for a DE and can run down ball carriers from the backside. While he is a terrific athlete, he can improve his speed and quickness, he needs to become more explosive. He has a lot of experience and uses a variety of moves to his advantage, Burton is equally adept at playing the run and pass."

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