Deontay Burnett adds to No. 1 class

Serra wide receiver Deontay Burnett passes up on scholarship offer from Washington State and Michigan for an advance scholarship from USC.

College football fans love signing day surprises, if they go their way. Wednesday, Gardena (Calif.) Serra three-star wide out Deontay Burrnett was a pleasant addition to the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.

While the 5-foot-11 170-pound recover had been on USC’s radar for months, it appeared that an opportunity for a scholarship offer had come and gone. Burnett first committed to Washington State. Then, out of no where, Michigan go into the race for his commitment with a scholarship offer last week.

Burnett turned his back on both of those scholarship offer to take an advance scholarship offer from USC, which will count toward the 2016 recruiting class.

“It really came down to Tee Martin,” said Burnett. “I’ve known him since my junior year, and he’s been pleading his case to get me an offer from SC for a long time.

“I thank him for that, and he’s a big reason I decided to commit today. And I thank God for giving me the opportunity to play at the university of Southern California.

“It’s close to home so I can play in front of my family, and it’s always big to get a USC degree. It’s always been my dream to play at SC and God made my dream come true. I’m really happy and just amazed what God can do right now.”

Wednesday announcements of teammates John Houston and Rasheem Green came as less of a surprise for Trojan fans. In fact, even his own teammates didn’t know Burnett would join them at USC.

“It’s crazy because I didn’t know he was committing until today - like a little while ago,” laughed Houston. “It’s great though because he loves USC. He was waiting on that offer for the longest.”

Last season, Burnett caught 27 passes for 545-yards and seven touchdowns. As an advance scholarship recipient, he signed an Athletic Director Agreement rather than a standard letter of intent. He will join USC during fall camp in August where he will play under a full scholarship.

“Yeah, I understood the process and the coaches explained it all to my parents,” said Burnett. “I can’t be mad about it. I get a full ride scholarship to the school I really wanted to go to. I’m blessed.”

For USC fans not familiar with Burnett’s exploits or his fit in the 2015 class, he described himself accordingly.

“I’m a vertical receiver that gets open in space,” said Burnett. “I’m a get it and go type player. I still have to get bigger and stronger, but I feel like with my speed, I can stretch the field.”

Scout National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins sees Burnett as a great addition to top off a 26 man nation championship recruiting class for USC.

“Burnett emerged over the spring and summer as one of the top receivers out West,” said Biggins. “He has excellent quickness getting in and out of his breaks, has down field speed and can be a deep threat at the next level. He's also a natural pass catcher, very smooth in his route running and plays with surprising polish despite no being a full time starter until his senior year. He'll need to add size/strength, but the natural ability is all there.”

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