After a relatively small class of defensive backs in 2017, Virginia Tech has likely made cornerback a priority in the Class of 2018. The Hokies are recruiting several players there, including Donte Burton.
Burton is listed at 6-feet, 164-pounds and is a 3-star recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite. Burton plays for Central Gwinnett in Lawrenceville, GA. and has 21 scholarship offers. His most notable offers are Louisville, North Carolina, Oregon, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Colorado.
Burton plays corner for Central Gwinnett and also returns punts and kicks. His athleticism shows in both phases of the game, as Burton has no issue keeping up with or running by kids. He looks slightly smaller than 6-feet on film, so he doesn’t necessarily fit the recent mold of taller cornerbacks that Virginia Tech has recruited lately.
However, Burton does have a knack for deflecting passes and uses his body well to cover receivers. He stays in good position on throws downfield and has fluid hips. He also has experience playing in both press and off coverage, which is a good sign.
Burton’s best trait may be his physicality and tackling. In fact, it reminds me a bit of Kyle Fuller. Burton is slightly smaller, but both play with a similar toughness and physicality that many corners don’t know how, or want, to play with. Fuller was one of the best corners at playing the run, and Burton could fit that mold.
The biggest unknown with Burton is his ball skills. He shows the ability to get his hands on throws, but his highlight film doesn’t show any interceptions. Still, Burton covers pretty well and his toughness is a welcome sight.
Virginia Tech is still in the mix for Burton, even though he’s “technically” committed to North Carolina. Burton committed to the Tar Heels in July 2016, but has scheduled multiple visits and told 247Sports on March 22 that his top five schools were North Carolina, West Virginia, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. Burton is slated to visit Virginia Tech this weekend, giving the Hokies a chance to make up even more ground in his recruitment.
The Hokies have offered a ton of defensive backs, many of whom are officially listed as athletes. Virginia Tech is high on Burton and DJ Crossen, as well as Rayshad Williams. Tech is also in good position with Nadir Thompson and DeVon Graves, both of whom are officially committed to NC State. With Chamarri Conner and Nasir Peoples in the fold so far, fans can expect Virginia Tech to take at least two, possibly three more defensive backs.