January 24, 2008

Longhorns invite another

Mack Brown and the rest of the Texas staff are looking for a few good men.

As the rest of the nation scurries to fill up their recruiting class for 2008, the Longhorns are spending quite a bit of their focus this month on trying to put together a star-studded cast of invites for their first Junior Day on February 1st.
With names like JaMarkus McFarland, Garrett Gilbert, Russell Shepard and Mason Walters already confirmed for the 10th, most are expecting the Longhorns to invite all of their "must-haves" on the day that they'll start to make their first wave of offers for the 2009 class.

You can now add one of the state's most productive running backs to the list, as Plano High star Rex Burkhead confirmed on Wednesday night that he'll be making the trip to Austin on February 10th.

"I'm going to Texas on the 10th and I think I might be going to Texas Tech on March 1st. I'm planning on going to that one," Burkhead said. "I've gotten a few Junior Day invites on February 2nd, but that's the date of our football banquet and I can't go to any of those. Texas is the only one that have scheduled so far."

With offers from California, North Texas and Tulsa already under his belt, Burkhead has been focused on finishing out the basketball season, but he knows that recruiting will start to occupy more of his time.

"I'm doing basketball right now and it's not doing so great, honestly," Burkhead said with a slight laugh. "We don't have as many big guys like we've had the last few years and we've really struggled in district play. As far as recruiting and all that, there have been a lot of coaches coming by. Coach (Bobby) Kennedy was up there last week at one of my basketball games. I've been getting a lot of mail and letters. There have been a lot of Junior Day slips. I'm still open to any college that wants to recruit me and I don't have a top five list of schools yet or anything like that."

While that might very well be the case, Burkhead admitted that if the Longhorns offer him a scholarship, it could have a pretty dramatic impact on his recruitment.

"Definitely," Burkhead said when asked if a UT offer would catch his attention. "Growing up in Texas, they were just national champions a few years ago and they are one of the top programs in the country. What could be better than that? It would definitely be a big deal."

So, would an early offer lead to an early commitment?

"Yeah, as far as early commitment, I think I would first like to take some visits and see some different campuses before I'll know where I want to go. I want to get to know the programs and the coaches well before I make a decision. If Texas is the place that I think is best for me after that, then I'd commit. That's if they offer."

As a junior at Plano, Burkhead help lead resurgence at one of the state's most storied programs by rushing for 1,768 yards and 29 touchdowns, while adding another 5we yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. Over the course of the last two seasons, the 5-10 185-pound running back has amassed more than 4,000 yards of offense and 42 touchdowns. He is currently ranked as the state's No.48 player in the current Lone Star Recruiting Top 100 list.

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