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A Look at the Recruits: Vontaze Burfict Edition

So, now that the class is finalized we seem to be ranking anywhere from #27-#35 depending on the source. This is up from the #43-#57 rankings we were being tagged with before the last 3 kids signed (including Burfict) and shows how much top talent can change a class. While the class did not include the O-Line depth we were all hoping for, it was packed with athleticism, speed, and some beasts on defense.

First up - the man himself Vontaze Burfict.

Vontaze Burfict, MLB, Scouts, Inc. - #1 ILB, 85 Grade. #1 MLB, #9 player in the nation.

6'3, 245, Fr. Corona, Calif. (Centennial H.S.) Per the team...

The most highly ranked football prospect ever to sign a letter of intent to
attend Arizona State University. Burfict is the prototypical middle linebacker that
starred for one of the nation's most prominent programs.

Scouting Report
He is incredibly intense, tenacious, powerful and speedy. He has been unanimously rated as the top middle linebacker prospect in the United States and is one of the very best high school football players in America. He changes direction very well and is very difficult to block. A ferocious hitter and an excellent blitzer, Burfict has the ability to significantly impact a football game in several ways.

He has been rated as a five-star prospect by both and and earned First-Team All-America honors by EA Sports. He was rated by as the nation's No. 9 prospect at any position nationally and wasalso rated by as the No. 2 prospect in the state of California and the best run-stopping linebacker in the nation. He participated among the nation's elite in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio, Texas and was considered one of the most impressive players during practices and in the game. Afterwards he earned First-Team All-America Honors by MaxPreps and was listed by ESPN Scouts, Inc. as the No. 16 overall player in the ESPN 150 list, regarded as the No. 18 overall recruit in the country by PrepStar and the No. 26 overall prospect by
SuperPrep. Ranked by as the No. 29 overall recruit in the 2009
class & ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect by SuperPrep in the California/Hawaii/Nevada 150 list. was named to the Badger/New Level All-Las Vegas Camp Team in the spring of 2008.

Bufcit also earned First-Team Best in the West honors by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, joining fellow ASU signee Corey Adams on that list. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Golden State honors by He also was named the Southern California Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Southern California honors by

High School Career
He was a teammate of fellow ASU signee William Sutton, as well as current Sun Devils Ryan Bass, Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee. This gives ASU five members of its roster to have played at Centennial High School, the greatest amount of out-of-state players from one school ever to be on a Sun Devil roster at the same time. Centennial earned a No. 2 national ranking at the end of the 2008 season.
Senior Season
Led the Huskies as senior with 159 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. Had 10 or more tackles in 10 of 14 games and never recorded fewer than eight tackles in a game. He recorded a season-high 17 tackles and added 0.5 quarterback sacks against Roosevelt on Oct. 10, 2008. Collected 16 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries against Norco on Nov. 14, 2008. Totaled 16 tackles and 1 sack against Vista Murrieta on Nov. 28, 2008. Totaled 13 tackles with
one interception against De la Salle on Dec. 19, 2008 in the CIF Division-1
Bowl Game.
Junior Season
Collected a team-high 130 tackles as a junior in 2007 and added
4 sacks, 2 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery. Burfict helped anchor a
linebackers unit that included Sun Devils Shelly Lyons and Brandon
Magee. Registered at least 10 tackles in seven of 13 games on the year and
never posted fewer than 7 tackles in a game. He collected a season-high 15
total tackles against Clovis West on Sept. 28, 2007, and posted 13 total stops
against King on Sept. 7, 2007 and also against Valley View on Oct. 12,
2007. Tallied a season-high 2 quarterback sacks, in addition to 11 total
tackles, against Glendora on Nov. 23, 2007.

The Decision
Burfict chose ASU over USC and had several additional scholarship offers..."We felt so comfortable with Arizona State because of the amount of care they showed us for Vontaze, the person," says Lisa Williams, Burfict¹s mother. "With ASU, the entire time, from the beginning of the process, they were presenting what they had to offer
Vontaze as a student, as an athlete and as a young man." He committed to the
Sun Devils on February 4, 2009, National Letter of Intent Signing
Day and was coached by Matt Loan at Centennial High School.

The kid has a bright future and will immediately challenge for a starting spot on the team.

Hit the jump if you want more scouting reports from the "experts" from Scouts, Inc.

From Scouts, Inc. who graded Burfict the #16 prospect in the nation, and the #1 ILB prospect in the country. Grade = 85.

"Burfict has an outstanding blend of size, speed and quickness. He has rare athleticism for a 245-pound middle linebacker. Has a prototype build for a Division I inside linebacker prospect, with great height, bulk and long limbs to pack on additional muscle. Gets a great forward jump on the ball and is explosive filling downhill. His ability to run through the cutoff block with power or slip it with deceptive lateral quickness separates him from other great linebacker prospects. He's very difficult to block in traffic and loses little speed or power when sifting laterally. Game seems to slow down for him. Brings a solid base with square shoulders and great power to the point of attack, but he's far more than just a short-range run plugger. For a thick linebacker, he flashes good change-of-direction quickness and smooth hips when pursuing in space. Turns and chases down ball carriers to the sideline with good angles and speed. Shows strong tackling skills, soundly wrapping up and driving through ball carriers with great force. A fierce hitter and great blitzer. He's a complete linebacker, possessing good hips, turns and athleticism in coverage. His pad level will be a problem at the next level. Can get upright, expose his body to the cutoff block and struggle to escape quickly enough once he's engaged. Needs to work on getting to his coverage drops quicker and on reading his keys against both the run and pass. Takes too many false steps that are masked by his redirection quickness. Burfict is ready to make an instant impact for a college program, and he has the build to continue developing physically through a weight-training program. He's a future college stud."

Another comment from, "Was the third-leading tackler for the West team in the Army Bowl. He also dominated in all-star game practices, capping off an amazing senior season that saw him lead his team to a CIF title and a state championship."

Lets hope he brings that winning attitude to Tempe...