Mere weeks before Washington State begins Fall camp, Mike Leach is starting to roll again on the recruiting trail. The Cougs have landed 5’11”, 160 lbs wide receiver Deontay Burnett, a three-star athlete from Gardena, CA.
Colorado State, Utah and Miami had offered a full ride while USC, UCLA, Arizona, ASU, Oregon, Oklahoma and others were closing in, but Burnett says he didn’t want the decision to dominate his senior year. The offense of Leach and the persistence of the coaching staff paid off. Cougfan was able to catch up with Burnett in a nice piece by Greg Biggins, here’s a little of what he had to say:
“I called up Coach Simmons and told him I was ready to be a Coug. I really like Washington State and feel like it’s a great fit for me. I love the coaching staff and they recruited me harder than anyone. Other schools talked to me once in a while but I talked to those coaches almost every day.”
We’ve heard this a lot from recruits that commit to WSU and it might be something that’s easy to take for granted, but these guys are on the horn more than you would think. Leach has called this staff the hardest working staff he’s ever been on, things like finding the time to get one-on-one’s in with most of these kids is really impressive and it’s rare that coaching staffs get that personable with their recruits. It makes a huge difference.
The past few seasons Junipero high school has flat out produced top NCAA talent at receiver. If you pay attention to Pac-12 recruiting you’ll know the names of five-star prospect Adoree Jackson who ended up at USC and three-star Jordan Lasley, now at UCLA. They were both seniors at the Gardena high school last season. With those two flanking him out on the edge, Burnett wasn’t really able to do his thing as a junior, but he did make 12 catches for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.com.
This Summer saw his recruitment blow up at camps and he figures to be the No. 1 receiver for Junipero as a senior this upcoming season. Not only that, but he may end up being one of the best receivers out West when all is said and done and there is more film on him (something USC, UCLA and the others are apparently waiting on). Serious recruiting analysts like Biggins are full of praise for the electric receiver, saying he can play for any school in the Pac-12 Conference and is a huge get for the Cougs.
If he were to get an offer from those schools, I’m not sure I’m too worried about it. Burnett is enamored with the offense of Mike Leach and feels he can be a huge contributor in the air raid offense.
“The style of offense is another huge factor for me. They throw the ball a ton and I think I can get in there and catch a ton of balls there. Coach Leach is a proven coach with a great offensive background so when you combine all that, it was an easy decision for me.”
That might spell doom for any other interested schools. Leach is really starting to hold his footing in the recruiting game, something that some weren’t sure he could do at WSU. And for receivers, if they look at any publications going out about the Cougs, they are all saying WSU has the deepest and most talented receiving core in the Pac-12, most of them are former three-star recruits. Knowing you’re going to see the field earlier than later is a big deal to a lot of guys.
Welcome to the Coug family Deontay!