Walk-On Chronicles: Sam Burtch

There were a lot of opportunities for Sam Burtch coming down the stretch, but Nebraska football wasn't one of them until the Monday before signing day. Burtch was considering running track at Nebraska, but he hadn't heard anything about football. Still, when the opportunity came up, no matter how late it came, it was something that Burtch couldn't pass up.

It just had a way of working out for Sam Burtch. The 6-foot-3 and 175-pound wide receiver from Elmwood-Murdock (Nebr.) seemed destined to go anywhere but Nebraska for football until the week of signing day.

"I didn't have a lot of contact from Nebraska until the Monday before signing day," Burtch said. "I was being recruiting by Nebraska-Omaha and Northwest Missouri State for football and Nebraska and Kansas for track.

"My coach contacted Coach Jeff Jamrog about walking on through email. He told him about the things that I am capable of doing and what I do well on the football field. Coach Jamrog watched my film and called him back and gave me the walk-on opportunity."

Despite coming in late the opportunity to play football for Nebraska was too much to pass up for Nebraska. He might have ended up at Nebraska regardless, but not to play football.

"When the opportunity came up I knew that was where I wanted to go. I went to Omaha for football, Kansas for track, Nebraska for track and Northwest Missouri State for both. All of those were official visits for me.

"Truthfully, if I didn't get the chance to go to Nebraska to play football I was probably going to go to Nebraska to run track. When the opportunity to play football came up I knew that it was always something that I wanted to do."

Burtch hasn't given much thought to doing football and track next year. The only way that happens is if there isn't a conflict between the two. He said that he is going to Nebraska to play football, first.

"I don't know right now. If the opportunity is open and neither coach has a problem with me doing both then I will likely be happy to do both. If one comes in conflict then I wouldn't hesitate to say no. It's not a big factor. All of my focus is on football."

Burtch finished his senior season with 44 catches for 1,038 yards and eight touchdowns. He earned all-state honors from both the Omaha and Lincoln papers as well as conference and district honors.

"Nebraska likes me as a wide receiver, but I also played safety and outside linebacker in high school. If I made the switch to defense in college it would likely be to play safety. I really don't think that is much of a possibility right now.

"I have pretty good size which I use a lot against smaller defenders. I like to think that I have good hands, but I have dropped a couple over the past season. Those are the two things that I think that I do well."

Burtch obviously has track season coming up and he's been busy training for it already. He says that he is more of an intermediate to long distance runner and has some very solid times to prove it in his three events.

"I have track coming up. It starts the first week in March, but I have been working out for a while now. I will do the 200m, 400m and 800m. My best 200m time is 22.5, in the 400m it's 49.29 and in the 800m it's 1:56.3."

Like many of the others Burtch will be heading to Lincoln in the early part of June to get started. He's not sure what he wants to major in at the moment and says that he will take some classes before deciding.

"There will be a bridge program that I will be taking part of that starts in early June so I will be heading to Lincoln for that. I am undecided right now, but I am considering engineering or architecture. I want to see what I like through some classes. My GPA is a 3.8."

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