FSU Offers Venice DE

Venice defensive end Clay Burton is a big, athletic defensive end. He's seen his recruitment pick up steam this spring as some of the top BCS programs have extended an offer. Florida State was the first of the "Big 3" to offer when they came through with an offer Monday. Burton spoke to NoleDigest about the offer and about his recruitment as spring is coming to a close.

Clay Burton is one of Southwest Florida's best defensive ends for the 2011 recruiting class. NoleDigest.com's Geoff Vogt says "Burton 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, and 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."

Clay told NoleDigest that with the new offer from Florida State he now sits at nearly 20 offers as the May evaluation period is coming to a close.

"I have something like 17 or 18 offers now," explained Burton. "I'm definitely happy where I am at and grateful for the offers I have gotten. Schools like FSU, Notre Dame, LSU, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Rutgers, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Boston College, Stanford and Georgia Tech have offered me. Miami says they'll be recruiting me and I am definitely excited about that. Ohio State and North Carolina have been in contact and they are close to offering as well. I also think Florida may be offering me soon."

Florida signed Clay's brother, Trey Burton, last year. That factor has led to many people feeling that an offer from the Gators will lead to a commitment from the talented defender.

"That is a big misconception about Florida," explained Burton. "It would be great to play with him but I have to do what is best for me. He supports me and congratulates me on every offer. I was talking to a reporter from there and he was telling me they liked how I practiced so we will see if they offer."

"I want to find the place that has a good education, coaching stability, early playing time and a chance to win a national championship," continued Burton.

The offer from FSU came after the coaches had checked out Clay practice, as well as based off of his film. He says Coach Dawsey is the coach who's been in contact and he is the one who extended the offer.

"Coach Dawsey is the coach from FSU that offered me," explained Burton. "This is the second year he's been by our school so it was good to see him. He seems like a cool coach and someone I'd like to play for. I know he wouldn't be my position coach but I like he's there. He told me that they were watching film and they liked me. When he watched me practice he says I am a guy that is 245 pounds that comes off of the edge quickly. I am supposed to call there tomorrow and talk to Coach Eliot and Coach Fisher."

"I like how FSU has always been a prestigious program, Burton said, "and it looks like they are on their way back to the top. I'd like to be apart of something like that. I went up there a few years ago when Trey was at Showtime and I've been to a game before. I like the atmosphere there; it is big time football with a big time atmosphere."

At this juncture Clay says he will graduate early.

"I am graduating early so my plan is to take a few officials before I decide," said Burton. "I'd like to get all 5 visits in if I could. Other than that I am not sure what I will do so I'll just wait and see how it goes."

The only summer plans at this time for Burton is a visit to Notre Dame.

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