Syracuse is looking at a potential lack of depth along the offensive line heading into 2013. They have started to shore that up with the addition of JUCO center/guard John Miller, and have now added Fork Union Military Academy (VA) tackle Jonathan Burton.
Burton committed to Syracuse Friday evening, shortly after receiving his offer.
"I really liked the facilities," Burton described. "I really liked the family feel and atmosphere. I had a really strong feeling and relationship with all of the staff. I loved the atmosphere around the campus."
While the 6-foot-8 prospect was not on an official visit during one of the two big visit weekends in December, he was on campus last month for an unofficial visit. He fell in love with the campus then, and it was just a matter of receiving the offer.
"I took an unofficial visit a while back," Burton recalled. "It was in November. I loved the visit. I really liked the facilities. I got to bond with the coaches there. It was great. The players were cool too."
Offensive line coach Greg Adkins was Burton's primary recruiter. Their relationship has been developing for a long time, and was a big factor in the tackle's decision.
"Greg Adkins recruited me," Burton said. "Like a month after I arrived at Fork Union, I started to talk to coach Adkins. We started building a relationship. He was always straight with me. He's a great guy and I'm glad I get to play for him."
Burton has been hoping the Syracuse offer would come. He held offers from Northern Michigan, Campbell, Eastern Kentucky, and others, but the Syracuse offer was the one he really wanted. Once he got it, the decision was a no brainer.
"I just received my offer today," Burton admitted. "Ever since I got to Fork Union, I've been thinking about Syracuse for a while. When I went on the visit, I felt like I really liked it there. That sold me on Syracuse right there. Ever since then I've felt really good about Syracuse.
"When I told the coaches, they were happy and excited. My family was really happy as well. They were happy and excited for me."
Burton knows he has a lot of hard work ahead of him if he is to contribute early. The good news, he can start that process early as he will be enrolling in January. Burton says he has five years to play four.
"I'm hoping to play all four years," Burton said. "My goal is to be the best I can be. If the league does present itself then that would be good too. But I'm just excited to be at Syracuse and I can't wait to get up there."
Burton describes himself as a pass blocking tackle who is working on improving his run blocking. He says he believes Adkins can help him work on his foot work and downfield blocking once he arrives on campus.