The college football world was formally introduced to Deontay Burnett on the second day of 2017. USC knew all about him, of course. Burnett had been a reliable target all season, though because of the Trojans’ woeful 1-3 start, the nation justifiably didn’t pay much attention to a sophomore wide receiver.
Ever since, college football fans have had every reason to pay attention to Burnett. Here are five things you need to know about USC’s junior wide receiver:
1. Burnett may have had a better Rose Bowl than Sam Darnold
Most look to the Rose Bowl as the coming out party for Sam Darnold. By any measure, Darnold was brilliant, throwing for 453 yards and five touchdowns. His performance cast a large shadow — one big enough that many hardly noticed the fact that Burnett hauled in 13 catches for 187 yards and was responsible for three of those touchdowns.
2. It’s possible Burnett is so good because he has magical abilities
A key element of wide receivers getting open is disappearing from the defense’s eyes. Thing is, Burnett disappeared before the entire world’s eyes as Darnold was doing a handshake routine prior to a Nov. 18 matchup with UCLA.
— Clay Helton (@USCCoachHelton) November 18, 2017
The video immediately went viral.
3. Burnett played quarterback as a high school sophomore
Playing quarterback in high school is not the same as throwing the ball with the volume of, say, a real quarterback. As a sophomore, Burnett completed 8 of 11 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. By the time he was a senior, he was a full-time wide receiver at J Serra, where he caught 27 passes for 545 yards and five touchdowns. His teammates included future Trojans Olajuwon Tucker, Jalen Greene, Jalen Jones, Rasheem Green, John Houston Jr., Oluwole Betiku, C.J. Pollard and Christian Herrera.
4. Burnett has caught multiple passes every game this season
A lot of the wide receiving plaudits have been dished out to freshman Tyler Vaughns, and reasonably so. Vaughns is having a superb year — but he still has nothing on Burnett. Not this year, anyway. Burnett leads the USC in receptions with 73, 25 more than second-place Vaughns. His 966 yards are more than 300 north of Vaughns, the next closest receiver. And his nine touchdowns more than double USC’s No. 2 option.
It has been Burnett’s consistency that has been so valuable. He has caught multiple passes every game, and six or more in eight of 12 games.
5. USC was Burnett’s third option
His first love was the pass-happy, and therefore wide receiver friendly, offense of Mike Leach and Washington State, and he was verbally committed to the Cougs for six months.
Then he switched his commitment to…Arizona State.
And then Tee Martin, USC’s offensive coordinator called. The Trojans, a factory of NFL caliber quarterbacks who would find Burnett easily, wanted him.
USC it was.
The post Who is Deontay Burnett? 5 things to know about USC’s junior WR appeared first on Diehards.
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