Know the Knights: Michael Burton

Spring practice begins in five weeks (March 29), and's ongoing series "Know the Knights" continues. Today's profile piece is on fullback Michael Burton, who has a chance to make an impact because of the change in offensive philosophy.

Michael Burton didn't have any Division I scholarship offers coming out of West Morris High (Chester, N.J.), but embraced the opportunity to walk-on and Rutgers and made an impact on the scout team offense.

By the end of the 2010 season Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was mentioning Burton as a candidate to get playing time as a fullback, and with the Scarlet Knights' move to a power-I running attack, he will get plenty of reps in the spring to prove his worth.

In this installment of "Know the Knights," takes a closer look at Burton:

Michael Burton

2011 Eligibility:Red-shirt freshman
Ht.: 6-0 Wt: 220
Position: Fullback
High school: West Morris High (Chester, N.J.)
Background: Entered Rutgers in the summer as a preferred walk-on after a storied career at West Morris High and was a member of the scout team offense at fullback. …Ran for a school-record 1,769 yards and 20 touchdowns on 200 carries as a senior. Also set a school mark with 2,376 all-purpose yards …Ran for a school-record 3,372 yards in his career. …Had an offer from Albany and was being recruited by Patriot League schools before choosing to walk-on at Rutgers.

Projected 2011 Role: Of all the people ecstatic about Rutgers moving back to a power running game, the fullbacks should be high on the list. It is not a position of glory, but in the last two seasons the fullback didn't even have a place in the offense.
That should no longer be the case, so the next step is figuring out who can do the job. Burton is in contention, and he brings a hard-working, tough-minded approach to the position.
He was a running back in high school, and ran with the mentality of a fullback. He also is athletic, which could open up opportunities for him in new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti's passing game.
Despite his youth and experience, Burton is a self-made type of player who could flourish in a fullback role, and will have a chance to have an impact during the 2011 season.

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