Did Joe Burton Make It?

The eligibility of four-star recruit Joe Burton has been a topic of discussion among Oklahoma State basketball fans for much of the summer. The 6-6 standout wing was taking several online classes this summer in hopes of earning enough credits to enroll at OSU this fall and be eligible to play for the Cowboys this winter. GoPokes.com visited with Burton this evening to get the update on his status.

Burton said he found out earlier Wednesday that he will be declared eligible, and will be traveling to Oklahoma State on Thursday with plans on enrolling for the fall semester.

“I’ll be there tomorrow night. My family is coming with me tomorrow, and I’ll be there tomorrow night,” said Burton, who passed several online classes this summer to earn the necessary credits.

“I had to take a couple of classes online and then had to go through the NCAA process, and then had to wait for it to get reviewed, get stuff graded and get stuff on my current transcript. I’ve just been waiting on that,” he said.

Burton found out when Cowboys assistant coach Butch Pierre called to inform the family of the decision.

“They told me that they’re really confident I’m going to get cleared. They’re 100 percent sure that I’m going to get cleared, so they told me to come on down there tomorrow,” said Burton, who averaged 22.5 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior in leading Atascocita High School to an undefeated 13-5A title and trip to the Texas Region II championship game.

Burton knows that he will be joining the Cowboys at a disadvantage as many of the other six newcomers have been on campus since June, working out with the coaches and getting in shape for the upcoming season.

“I’m going to have to work probably three times as hard as they are,” he said. “I’m going to have to come in in the morning before class, after classes, at night, trying to get myself in the shape that they’re in. I need to get my body ready for the college level.”

Burton said in late July that he had to finish his online classes before Aug. 18 in order to enroll for the fall semester at OSU. There have been some anxious moments the last nine days as he waited to hear if he would be cleared by the NCAA.

“We hit a little bump and there was a little anxiety going on that we may not be able to finish this. There were days where I worked on it all day. I didn't really have that much of a summer,” he said. “My mom was there to encourage me the whole way. Once I finished she told me today that coach Pierre had called and he wanted me down there tomorrow night it was like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”

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