Saturday, October 10, 2015

MHS’ Burton signs to play for Wildcats

After more than two months of anticipation, Deante Burton finally got to put pen-to-paper on Wednesday, officially signing his Letter of Intent to play football for Kansas State.

Burton said it was a great feeling to sign in front of family, friends and supporters, and that he is ready to start playing football again.

Burton served as a cornerback and wide receiver for Manhattan this past year, and was the only player to score in all three facets of the game. Offensively, he caught 20 passes for 327 yards and five touchdowns and ran 15 times for 216 yards and three more scores.

Burton said he expects to play wide receiver for the Wildcats, and does not expect to redshirt.

“I think I’m going in as a wide receiver and I will be doing a lot of special teams, and we will see how that goes,” he said. “I’m going to work as hard as I can to get on the field as fast as possible.”

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior chose K-State over interest from Oklahoma State, UCLA and South Florida. Associate head coach Sean Snyder was his primary recruiter, but wide receivers coach Michael Smith aided in closing the recruitment when Burton committed in November.

Burton met with members of the K-State coaching staff and future teammates this past week on his official visit.

He said the group of receivers he spent time around all told him what it would take to have a chance at making an impact early.

“Those guys on the official really took me in as a family,” Burton said. “I spent a lot of time with Curry (Sexton) and he is a really great guy and such a hard worker. Brod (Smith) was my host and you can learn a lot from those guys. I want to learn from them and from guys like (Tyler) Lockett. They’re all hard workers.”

Burton said he is prepared for the tough weight program that K-State features, and hopes he can use it to his advantage to get up to 210-215 pounds before next fall, all while maintaining his speed.

The MHS senior said the biggest impact left on him from his official visit, was just how close everyone really is.

“It really is a family atmosphere up there,” Burton said. “And I’m really ready to be a part of something like that.”

Olsen, Harwood, Lierz go Juco

The Indians had three other seniors make their college choices on Wednesday, as Josh Olsen and Dakota Harwood chose Highland Community College and Jason Lierz selected Hutchinson.

Olsen served as one of three running backs in the Indians’ three-headed rushing attack this season, and posted his best game of the season in the Indians’ win over Junction City in the regular season finale.

Harwood rose through the depth chart to the position of starting quarterback after No. 1 passer Trey Francis went down with an injury midway through the season. Harwood took over the offense and put up solid passing numbers to lead the team into the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Lierz served as the Indians’ center and was part of an offensive line that was almost entirely new from a season ago. Lierz said in signing with Hutchinson on Wednesday that his goal is to return home to play in front of his friends and family at K-State someday.

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