Linebacker Mason Burnett Loves Illini Visit

For those who wonder why some high school football players have no rankings, look no further than St. Peters, Missouri. That's the home of Mason Burnett, a tremendous athlete who spent the past season on the sidelines with an injury. A rangy track star, Burnett played well at the NFTC last Sunday, and he visited the Illini the day before.

There is an excellent reason why Mason Burnett does not yet have a ranking on

"I got hurt all last year. I broke my right ankle. So I couldn't play a lot and didn't have a lot of film."

He is making up for lost time this spring. First of all, he excelled for Fort Zumwalt East's track team.

"I got ninth in state in the 200, so I was close to getting All-State. I ran a 21.96 to get to state, then I ran a 22.1 at state."

Not bad at all for a rangy 6'-4", 210 pounder. In fact it is outstanding, especially considering his combination of high school positions for his football team.

"I play linebacker in high school, but I also play tight end, wide receiver, and some defensive end."

Last Sunday, Burnett competed as a linebacker in the Nike Football Training Camp at Memorial Stadium on the Illinois campus. His performance will help him obtain a proper evaluation for recruiting websites.

"The camp went good. It was good competition, and I thought I did pretty good I guess."

The Illini are recruiting him for defense.

"I think outside linebacker, or defensive end if I can put some more weight on."

The Illini are intrigued enough to have him in for an unofficial visit the day before the camp. It made a major impression on Burnett.

"I loved it. Everything was good about it. We saw all the facilities. We drove around the school in a golf cart. I'm definitely considering Illinois."

Illini coaches need to see him perform for them before deciding on a scholarship offer.

"I'm going to be here again on the 23rd. They will evaluate me at that time and probably offer me."

He has inquiries from several top schools besides the Illini.

"Mizzou, Kansas State, Iowa, Colorado and Michigan State are involved. I don't have any offers yet, but it's coming I think."

Burnett feels his size and speed give him an advantage on the football field. Of course, he has some areas he wants to improve.

"I want to work on my footwork and continue to work on my reads."

Burnett shared what he wants in his college choice.

"I'm looking for a nice feel on the campus, a good education, the history of the school. I may wish to major in Sports Nutrition or something like that."

Burnett wants to keep getting bigger and stronger to withstand the rigors of the college game. He plans a busy summer schedule.

"I'll be doing a lot of lifting this summer. And I have some other camps."

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