Amari Burney (Photo by Danny Parker)

Scout 150 athlete Amari Burney is down to three schools prior to his June 1st commitment

Amari Burney is less than a month away from making his decision. The Scout 150 athlete will announce on June 1st and is now down to three schools. Burney breaks down the three schools and more with Scout.

Amari Burney is less than one month away from making his commitment. 

"I am focused now on just sitting down with my parents and seeing what they like and talking about what I like," stated the Scout 150 athlete.  "It's going to be my decision, but we are talking and then coming to an agreement on what school I want to pick." 

Burney is making his decision on June 1st in honor of his grandfather's birthday. 

"I'm more excited to let the world know where I am going," he said. 

According to the Scout's eighth-ranked athlete, he has not made his decision yet, however, he knows this three finalists. 

"Virginia TechOhio State and Florida [in no order]," stated Burney. 

The Calvary Christian playmaker has visited each school in recent months and has had plenty of time to acquaint himself with not only the football coaches and program but also with the University itself. Last month he took trips to both Ohio State and Virginia Tech to learn more about each respective program. His first stop was to Columbus, Ohio.

During his trip to see the Buckeyes, Burney was able to see the team in action and learn about the potential of early playing time. 

"What stood out was just the freshman playing," he said.  "I see a lot of freshman out there. Isaiah Pryor came out there and did his thing. They let the freshmen play; if you come in and do what you need to do." 

Although Burney is friends with current freshman corner, Shaun Wade, he spent most of his time with defensive coordinator Greg Schiano

"He was just telling me the role I can play if I come there," said Burney. "They also had two commits that day and he was asking me if that persuaded me in any way from not committing or committing there." 

In short those commitment did not affect Burney. 

"I think the same. He was just telling me that although they need three safeties, he said you come, in and do what you need to do and if you come in and do what I know you can do, that you can play," Burney explained.  "They would let us all of us play if I was ever going to commit there." 

In addition to his talk with Schiano, he was impressed by the fan turnout for the spring game. 

"They had 80,000 [people at the game], which shows the fans are loyal to the football team."

Ohio State was not the only school to receive a spring game visit. A few weeks later, Burney traveled north once again to check in on Virginia Tech, where he stayed in Blacksburg, Va. for three days.

"They showed me a lot," he said, "and they showed me everything that I needed to know." 

One of the biggest focus on this visit was the academics available at the university. 

"I visited with the counselors and them telling me about all the different programs they have there," he said. "They took me to the engineering building... where they did the concussion study." 

Burney was very impressed by the biomedical study that is looking at head impact exposure in children. However, as he has mentioned in several prior interviews, he is more impressed when a school demonstrates an academic, football balance. On the gridiron, Burney was equally impressed by what he saw. 

"I saw nEw people coming up," he said. "They have this number 13 [ Caleb Farley], he is a freshman and he looks like he is going to come up and be one of those top players.

"A lot of people stepped up for the spring game," he added.  "I see a lot of progression from last year with the new quarterback coming in and the new offense and defense." 

The Sunshine State native also had the opportunity to speak with coaches at Virginia Tech

"I sat down with the wide receivers [Holmon Wiggins] and safeties coach [Galen Scott], and they said It was my decision to pick, but I saw that number 13 plays both wide receiver and DB, and I feel I can do something like that if I go there."

During his trip to Blacksburg, Burney's cousin,Hokies cornerback Brandon Facyson, was able to share some insight into the program and of course take him on a tour of the school and area. 

"He was really telling me how good the staff was. [Head] coach [Justin] Fuente coming in after coach Beamer left, and he was like that it wasn't a really big change for him. And how Fuente came in and started coaching them up right away."

Although Florida did not receive a visit in April, Burney is not stranger to The Swamp. He has visited Florida's campus plenty of times in the last few years, and was most recently on campus for the Gators' junior day in March. Jim McElwain and his staff came in very early in Burney's recruitment, a decision that has helped UF cement a good relationship with the top playmaker in the 2018 class. 

"The coaches [are the reason why they are a finalist]," said Burney.  "From when I was a sophomore, and I had two offers, they offered me right away. They said I can become be their guy.  So they didn't just come and offer me at the end when I would get all of the other offers.

"Since they offered me, they were there all the way. They never stopped pushing me and telling me they wanted to come to Florida."

Like Virginia Tech, Burney is being recruited on both sides of the ball by the Gators. On his last visit, Burney was able to learn more about new defensive backs coach, Corey Bell.  

"Relationship has been going great," he said. "The last visit that I took was really about seeing how the new coaches coaches. Corey Bell, he coaches the DBs, and it really went great." 

Although Burney has spoken with both Bell and wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon a number of times, since Florida is recruiting him at both positions, his main point of contact has always been offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier

"He has just been telling me to make the right decision. They are not going to push me to committing there. They say it is just my decision and do what its right for me." 

With two schools recruiting him on both offense and defense, Burney has a lot to think about. 

"It just shows that they see a lot in me. It shows that they think I can do a lot of things with the ball, you know on defense I can make a lot of tackles. So it shows they are really interested in me." 

Burney will have plenty to consider before making his June 1st decision.

"[My family has said] don't regret your decision in the long run. just think about it and pray about it to make the right decision." 

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