Junior college recruiting can be a gamble. Last season schools looked but weren't willing to gamble on NEO A&M tight end Lonell Burris. Now after a self-motivated weight loss program, Burris is a steal for any school needing a blocking tight end athletic enough to make plays in the passing game, yards after catch kind of plays.
Last January Oklahoma State was looking for some help at the Cowboy back position and they brought in a local prospect at NEO A&M Junior College that was originally out of Choctaw High School in Lonell Burris. Burris caught a handful of passes last season and was a dependable blocker, some might even say he was impersonating an offensive lineman at tight end. Burris was listed at 6-3 1/2 and 265 pounds, but he was really a lot closer to 280 pounds. Oklahoma State passed on the big man and opted for a 6-0, 245 pound fullback type in Sione Finefeuiaki out of College of San Mateo C.C.
Burris stayed at NEO and is now looking to get out in May of 2018 and be a 3X2 recruit, three years to play two seasons, so he has a red-shirt year available. What isn't available is about 30 pounds that he was carrying last season. Burris is now 6-3 1/2 and 250 pounds and looking sleek and much more athletic. He caught three passes in one of NEO's final scrimmages and had close to 20-yards after the catch on two of the receptions. The third was a touchdown catch on a clutch third and goal situation.
"Just mentally dedicated," Burris said of the weight loss. "You could say I was self-motivated."
If Burris looked and played like he does now, Oklahoma State may have opted for him in the last recruiting class. The Cowboys are showing interest again, but so are some other Big 12 schools and schools in several power conferences. Nobody has offered yet, but I would guess they are waiting to see if the weight stays off or as Burris told us he loses another 5-10 pounds which he talked about.
"I'm working on my speed, flexibility, and technique," Burris added. "I'm trying to be more explosive."
Mission accomplished. My observation is that he is an under the radar prospect that is a steal for anybody that gets him. He has athletic ability and is still blocking like an offensive lineman playing tight end.