2011 Intro: Juston Burris

RALEIGH, N.C. --- Facing a player shortage due to injuries a couple of seasons ago, Broughton head football coach Chris Martin was forced to make a rare move – bring a sophomore up from junior varsity. After just two games, though, that sophomore, Juston Burris, won a starting spot at safety.

"We were teetering about sending him back down [to junior varsity]," Martin said. "But then [in the next game] he had three interceptions – two [returned] for touchdowns. So that sealed it for us to keep him [on varsity]."

Broughton, a school with an enrollment of 2,260 students, typically stocks its varsity team exclusively with juniors and seniors.

Burris picked off a total of five passes during his sophomore season. The 6-foot, 170-pounder had two interceptions as a junior. Additionally, Burris, who also returns kicks and punts, has returned a kickoff for a score.

"I think he's a kid that can change the dynamic of a game in one play," Martin said. "He's not afraid to come up and fill; he's not afraid to put a lick on you; but then at the same time he can play the zone and breaks on a ball real well."

In Broughton's 4-3 defense, Burris is either the centerfielder in a man-free zone or mans one of the deep halves in a cover-two.

"On a passing down, we'd like him to be back there – he has a good nose to the ball," Martin said. "But at the same time on the running downs, we'd rather have him be up as the fill, because he does make some good tackles if a guy gets loose."

Martin had hoped to utilize Burris on offense much more than he did last season. But a high-ankle sprain suffered during AAU basketball basically limited Burris. A healthy Burris could start both ways for Broughton this coming season.

"We'd liked to put him out there in a one-on-one match-up and see what teams want to do," Martin said. "Do they want to over/under him and then that would give us better size on the other side."

A month following his junior football season, Maryland extended Burris his first scholarship offer. He received his second offer two weeks ago from NC State.

"Duke may have already offered if [assistant coach] Scottie Montgomery hadn't left," Martin said. "That was our recruiting guy here, so I think [Burris] fell back into the back of the stack for a little bit."

Burris is also receiving strong interest from Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina.

Most schools are recruiting Burris as an athlete and project him as a safety.

"I think they like him as a safety, because he has good size and they see on his film that he's not afraid to come up and mix it up," Martin said. "… He also shows highlights as a kick returner, punt returner, and receiver."

Thus far, Burris has unofficially visited Duke, NC State, and Maryland. He plans to attend Georgia Tech's Junior Day on April 17 and a spring practice at Cincinnati. He also hopes to visit Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in the near future.

Burris is currently favoring Clemson, Georgia Tech, and NC State.

"Clemson [I like] more because of Death Valley," Burris said. "I went down there last summer and it was nice.

"NC State is close to home. I've always been an NC State fan. And then my mom and dad went to State, so I've been around State a lot.

"With Georgia Tech, I play AAU basketball and I was down there for a tournament and I just loved Atlanta."

Burris figures he'll make a verbal commitment during the football season.

"I want to make a few more visits before I make my decision," Burris said. "But it wouldn't be anywhere near Signing Day – it would be way before that."

Burris is also a guard for Broughton's basketball team. He missed most of this past season with a concussion.

Juston Burris Profile

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