Burton Honored To Be An Irish Pledge

As Clay Burton's offer list continued to grow, there was one school that had his full attention, Notre Dame. Burton talked with Irish Eyes about his verbal pledge to the Irish.

For Clay Burton picking Notre Dame was about an effort on his part. The Irish coaching staff as well as Clay's key recruiter all did their part. In the end Burton had to do his.

"It was just all about me taking the visit and making the effort to go up there. Once I got there it was a combination of the academics and football tradition that made me know it was the right choice for me."

While most high school prospects expect to be courted by schools, Burton stressed he was honored that the Irish took the time to recruit him.

"Coach Alford, he's the key that I'm going there. Without him I don't think Notre Dame would have come down here to recruit me. I'm just honored he and Notre Dame took the time to come down here and recruit me the way they did."

Burton's commitment was something he was ready to get done.

"I called and spoke with Coach Alford for about 45 minutes on Friday morning. This morning I spoke with Coach Kelly and he said he was proud of me for making my commitment to Notre Dame. Coach Kelly is real dedicated to winning and dedicated to his players."

As for what Burton will always remember about his visit, the Notre Dame mystic caught up with him.

"Just being at the stadium and walking in to the locker room. At that point there was a locker with my favorite number in it and a helmet and cleats. From there I was sold. Going to the field and seeing the sign "Play Like A Champion Today" was great and all the other little things really sold me on Notre Dame."

As for the distance from home, Burton has no problems and referenced others who have taken the same path.

"I know they have kids from all over the country that come to Notre Dame. I know there are guys from Hawaii and if they can do it I know I can do it."

As for the support of his family and their reaction to his choice of the Irish as his future destination, Burton stressed their support and happiness.

"They are happy, supportive and honored. They couldn't be any happier for me than they are right now."

While some have talked about where he'll lineup on the field, Burton feels he's ideal for what the coaching staff has planned.

"They see me as a defensive end/hybrid outside linebacker. When I visited I had a meeting with the defensive staff and they showed me what I could do and I couldn't be happier."

Another thing that sold Burton on the Irish is off the field and after his playing career is over.

"The Notre Dame education and network played a huge factor in my choice."

An unfinished product, Burton knows he needs work on his technique and plans on working hard in the weight room.

"I feel once I get into the weight room and work with Coach Longo, I'll flourish as a player. I get after it every play and I play fast on every play. I like to sack the quarterback and like to make big plays. Coach Longo is going to help me get better. All the players I spoke with give Coach Longo great reviews."

While Clay is happy his choice is behind him, he knew the day would come where he'd have to tell some coaches he didn't pick them.

"It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I fully understand all the time they spent working on recruiting me, but in the end they were all happy for me and my decision."

Clay Burton knows and fully expects other schools to continue to recruit him. But he also knows in his mind his recruiting is over.

"I'm solid with Notre Dame, no more visits for me."

Irish fans should be very excited about Clay Burton will bring to South Bend in the future. His talent is the type Brian Kelly looks for and expects to have committed to the Irish.

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