Burnett eyes pipeline to Washington State

WHEN IT COMES TO the recruiting of linebacker Victor Burnett -- a head-turner who posted a mind-numbing 182 tackles last season as a junior and now holds double-digit scholarship offers --Washington State has a selling point that other schools don't.

It's familiarity -- times two. Or four, depending on whether you count alums.

"Washington State is a school that I'm considering. They've had numerous people from my high school succeed at Washington State, like Karl Paymah and Michael Bumpus. There are two current players that I played with at Washington State right now, too," said Victor Burnett (6-0, 215).

That would be Terrance Hayward and Tyrone Justin, both formerly of Culver City High.

"I talk to them all the time...and every time Terrance is out here I see him. Me and him are pretty tight. And every time Tyrone Justin is out here he works out with the team so I'm with him out on the track and what not," said Burnett.

BURNETT SAYS he has no leaders. Oklahoma is one school that has made a strong early impression. So, too, has Washington State.

"Coach (Steve) Broussard is the one who's recruiting me but I talk to coach (Paul) Wulff, and coach Broussard, a lot," said Burnett.

"The reason I'm interested in Washington State..it would be an easy transition for me from high school to college there because of the players there that I've played with already. They could help me take that next step. And I want a family type of team and that would help, they would be there to show me the ropes."

BURNETT, WHO SAID distance won't be much of a factor, said Washington State and others are enamored with what he does off the field as well.

"In my school, I just won the election for student body council president and that has been big with every coach. They've said that that shows leadership," said Burnett.

BURNETT SAID HE expects his decision to come later rather than sooner. He plans on a camp day at USC later this month and has visited unofficially UCLA, USC and San Diego State. Additional unofficial trips outside the state, because of schedule and the economy, are probably unlikely.

"I'm going to take all five of my (official) trips..I don't really have a certain time frame decision wise, I just want to feel right about a school and take it step by step," said Burnett.

BURNETT'S HAS BEEN offered by West Virginia, Nebraska and Oklahoma while among the Pac-10, his he has rides from Cal, both Arizona schools and Washington State.

"Oregon State they are to me one of the big competitors in the Pac-10. Two out of three years, they've beaten USC," said Burnett.

The Beavs have been picked to finish in the lower half of the Pac-10 the past three years but have instead ended each season ranked in the Top 25, something Burnett says he's noticed.

"They're constantly coming back with power," said Burnett. "And with the running back they have now, he was only a freshman last year so think what he'll do the next three years.

"And their defense, it's always good. They're one of the most underrated defenses in the Pac-10 at times, they might not get as much notoriety as USC's defense but if you look at them, they're in the top categories a lot. They're a team I'd like to keep looking into."

Victor Burnett profile

  • Burnett is also a strong performer in the classroom and has achieved a qualifying SAT score.

  • As a junior, Burnett racked up 182 tackles with 17 for loss, including 10 sacks along with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He was named first team All-Ocean league for the second straight year and in '08 was a first team All-CIF selection. His 182 sticks set the Culver City single-season tackles record.

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