The Hometown Kid

On March 22, 2010 Raleigh's Juston Burris became the first commitment in NC State's 2011 recruiting class.

On March 22, 2010 Raleigh's Juston Burris became the first commitment in NC State's 2011 recruiting class. Playing wide receiver at local Broughton High School, Burris grew up pulling for the hometown Pack which he confirmed with Pack Prideduring a February 2010 interview.

"State is definitely on top," said Burris. "I grew up in Raleigh and NC State has always been my favorite team. I've always wanted to play for them so that's why they're on top."

Burris grew up a
fan of NC State.

To help matters State became Burris' first D-1 offer during the winter of his junior season. The Pack was quickly joined by Maryland and Duke, but Burris wasted little time in making the pledge to his childhood favorite.

While mostly an offensive threat for Broughton, Burris was recruited as a defensive back by NC State and eventually settled in as a cornerback during his redshirt season on the scout team.

However, the offensive mindset was difficult to break at first but according to his recruiting coach and defensive coordinator, Mike Archer, the mental transition played a key role in his development while redshirting the 2011-12 season.

"The biggest thing Juston has finally learned is that he's not going to be a receiver," said Archer. "He was a wide receiver at Broughton and very talented, but when we got him here we told him his place would probably be at corner.

"Going into the spring we re-confirmed that and now in his mind he knows he's going to be a corner. It was an adjustment because I think deep down inside he wanted to be a wideout.  He has an awful lot of ability though."

Just because Burris will be playing on the defensive side of the ball doesn't mean he won't have the opportunity to use the instincts he developed playing wide receiver. Defensive backs coach Mike Reed believes those skills will certainly help him in coverage.

"He's got an offensive skill set; which is a lot like David [Amerson] in the sense that when the ball goes up, he wants it," said Reed. "He's going to go get it. His redshirt year gave him time to settle in and get comfortable with the position of corner since he had been a receiver in high school.

"When the ball is in the air, his offensive mindset will click and he'll go get the ball."

At 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds, Burris physically fit what the Pack coaches look for in a corner. That combination of height and size draws an obvious comparison for coach Reed to another member of the Wolfpack secondary, "he's got similar size and speed to Amerson."

Burris tackles fullback Tyler
Purvis in the spring game.

Reed believes Burris' hard work and dedication to his craft will provide him the opportunity to make a difference for the Wolfpack in the future.

"Juston Burris is a young man that is really maturing and that's what you want to see," said Reed. "This kid wants to be good and he wants it more for himself than I do, which is a good thing. He understands he's going to have to play."

According to Archer, Burris has worked hard on and off the field to improve both his skillset and his strength, which should pay off for him during the 2012 season.

"He's worked hard in the weight room to get bigger and put himself in a position where he's going to be a factor," Archer said. "He could be in the rotation at corner or at nickel. If we move Dontae to corner, he's going to be a major factor. He has a lot in front of him, and he has to take it serious."

Pack fans should keep an eye out for No. 11 this fall.

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