At 6-foot-5, 220-pounds with 4.6 speed, Burtnett fills a need not only at tight end for the Frogs, he's also a very talented long snapper. Burtnett played primarily on defense in 2011 for the Porcupines, however in just four touches on offense, he produced four touchdowns. That explains why he will be used as Springtown's primary weapon in 2012.
Burtnett's talents don't cease on the football field, he's also one of the top hurdlers in North Texas, advancing to regionals in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles. He has a personal-best of 39-seconds in the 300m.
Burtnett landed on several teams radar's in the spring. Coaches from Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Rice, SMU, Texas Tech, Texas State and Northwestern were among the several schools that stopped by Springtown to get an up close look at Burtnett. Texas State and Rice extended offers the moment they watched him do drills.
Last week Burtnett and his family made the drive to Kilgore to participate in one of TCU's satellite camps. Needless to say, Burtnett was the most impressive kid in attendance physically and once drills began it was obvious his skills, especially at tight end, set him apart from the others. Burtnett impressed the coaches enough that he nearly received an offer on the spot, however he was told to wait a few days and they would let him know of their intentions.
Late Tuesday night, he received the news he had hoped to hear and wasted little time in becoming the Frogs' newest commit.
"Man, I had TCU as one of my top schools and when they said they had a scholarship for me; it was too good to pass up," he said. "To get an offer to play at the next level at some place that you really liked and wanted, you just can't let something like that pass."
Burtnett received the offer while having a conversation with TCU co-offensive coordinator Jarrett Anderson. After a discussion with his family, they all agreed TCU was the place he needed to call home.
"He (Anderson) called and spoke to Coach Turner and told me I need to give him a shout," Burtnett said. "Coach Anderson said I have a scholarship, he said if you want it it's yours. We came home and talked about it as a family and everybody came to an agreement that that was the place.
"I'm trying to keep them from crawling on the walls right now. I think they just pulled my little brother off the ceiling. Everybody is going crazy."
The excitement was mutual when Burtnett decided to call Anderson back with a commitment.
"He was excited, he said they were excited to have me," he said.
Academics were a key factor for Burtnett when evaluating programs. And why not, he ranks #2 in his class with a 104 GPA. The prestige a degree holds from TCU was a plus, but family support was just as important and TCU's proximity to Springtown couldn't be matched.
"They're close; they're only an hour from Springtown. When you have a bunch of family here in town that want to come out and watch you play, that makes it easy on them," he said. "You also have a great education; you're going to succeed with a degree from TCU. And football, if you want a handful of rings, there's no better place than TCU."
Burtnett says he will notify coaches that were recruiting him of his decision and says he's glad the process is over.
"I believe it does, I think I owe all of the coaches that were talking to me a phone call so they hear it from me," Burtnett. "The relief is unbelievable."
Burtnett and his entire family will travel to TCU on Wednesday to meet with Head Coach Gary Patterson.
HornedFrogBlitz.com caught up with Springtown head football coach Brad Turner in late March to discuss his thoughts on the type of player and person Burtnett is.
"I'm not sure I've been around a better young man than Bryson Burtnett. There's not a better kid than Bryson Burtnett, he's the kind of kid you want your daughter to bring home. He's the full package; he's a great athlete but he is a better person. Which is not the norm these days. He wants to be a doctor and I'm sure he will be. He'll probably graduate in three years and have a master's before he's done. He's ranked #2 in his class."
"He played quarterback in middle school and he was real lanky and we actually called him Bambi on ice. He was limited. He's 6-5 and can probably be 240-250 and be as fast. He runs so good; he went to regionals as a sophomore in the high hurdles and he'll probably go again this year. He may end up at state in one or both (110 and 300h). When you see someone at 6-5, 220 rumbling down the hurdles; that's pretty impressive. He has not lost a race in the high hurdles or intermediate this year."
"We're going to play him at an inside receiver and we can attach him as a tight end, h-back type and blocker. We can split him out and put him in the slot. We've even got some ideas to line him up by himself. A 3A corner I think would have trouble covering."
"TCU, A&M those guys have come through here and I've told all the guys I know and said if they don't recruit the kid you're missing out. He's a high 4.5 kid and only 16 years old. Two years from now there's no telling how he'll be. I can see him being a Jimmy Graham type."