Trip Report - Devin Burleson

Devin Burleson hasn't been playing football for long, but the 6-foot-8, 280-pound tackle prospect from Highland High School in Palmdale, Calif. knows that college football is his ticket to higher education. The San Diego State commit took an official visit to Washington this past weekend - was the trip enough to push Burleson the Huskies' way?

First, a little background. "I played Pop Warner when I was younger," Burleson told Dawgman.com when asked about playing football and basketball. "But the first high school I went to didn't have football. I was stuck with basketball. It wasn't until I got to St. John Bosco where I was at a school that actually had a football program so I played there. Then I transferred to Highland and that's where I got to play a full season of varsity football."

Burleson played at 280 pounds during the season, but said he's now at a trim 255 pounds. Would he consider trying to play both sports in college? "I think that would be a great opportunity," he said. "However I feel like if I was to play football in college I would need the full year to develop my skills so that I could be a dominant player, a player my coach could trust to have me on the field. I don't think I would probably pursue both football and basketball."

Why did Burleson make a verbal commitment to the Aztecs? "It was based on the distance from home, the weather, I liked the coaching staff and I got along with the players," he said of his commitment. "At the time I needed to seal the deal and make sure I had a good relationship with them and a little bit of stability in my recruiting process.

"Washington came into the picture in January. They gave me a phone call. The offensive line coach (Chris Strausser) said he was interested. They came out and watched me play. After that they came out and got my transcripts and my test scores. They offered me an official visit. I felt like I should enjoy my recruiting experience and Washington is a great program with a great coaching staff coming from Boise State, so I felt it was an opportunity I should seize."

The new UW staff offered Burleson a full scholarship last week. "They told me I would have a scholarship before I took my visit," he said. "They wanted to make sure it was in my best interests and not ruin something I already had."

So how was his official visit? "It was great," said Burleson. "I really enjoyed myself. It was a great environment and I felt really comfortable with the people around me. They just showed me a good time.

"It was my first time in Seattle. It's a beautiful city. I'm from the LA area and I've also been living in the desert in Palmdale. It was really green, which is something that I appreciated. It wasn't too dry, it was nice mild weather. As far as the school, the facilities were amazing. They were top-notch. I've never seen facilities on that level ever - even looking at USC's facilities.

"The coaching staff was great. Coach Petersen, he seemed like a really great guy. His whole style of developing all aspects of his players, not just on the field but off the field too, I felt that was great. That would fit me pretty well.

"And just meeting the offensive line, it took me only about 15 minutes to realize that I would get along with them great."

Andrew Kirkland was Devin's host. What did the Portland native tell Burleson about life as a Dawg? "As you know, when he went to Washington coach (Steve)N Sarkisian was the head coach there," said Burleson. "He said that the new coaching staff he really appreciated them. They are good people that really connect well with their players. They support the players getting along and not just respecting them. That's what I feel you have to have in order to be successful."

Burleson explained what the UW coaches saw in him to offer a late scholarship. "They felt that I have a huge upside because of my body type and my foot speed coming from basketball," he said. "I would first need to develop my upper body but they feel that I could be really successful in football and they'd love to be a part of that."

Burleson played right tackle at Highland this past season and said that the UW coaches would figure which tackle spot they would want him at later if he were to choose the Huskies.

He did not go to Seattle with his family because the visit was on short notice. "I just let them know that I really enjoyed myself and that I was definitely considering (UW)," Burleson said when asked what he told his parents of the trip.

Was Burleson thinking about making a commitment to UW on his trip? "Coach (Petersen) told me I should think about it and talk to my parents before making any decision," he said. "I had a phone call with them and I decided to keep it up in the air and make my decision on Signing Day."

Burleson will announce at 1 pm on Wednesday, and the decision is between San Diego State and Washington. He added that until that final moment he'll be thinking about the place he fits in best, where there's a need, and the level of success he could have in his chosen field after college. He wants to major in Mathematics.

"At this point both schools have great things to offer, so I'm really just trying to take it all in at the moment," he added. "I'll be sure my tomorrow what I'm going to do."

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