Junior to Watch: Deonte Burnam
School: Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County
Position: Inside linebacker
Size and speed: Burnam is 6-foot and 230 pounds. He has been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.7 seconds. He also has a 315-pound bench press and should have no problem qualifying with a 3.5 grade-point average and an early score of 750 on the SAT.
Honors: Burnam was the region four, Class 2A defensive player of the year as a junior. He also earned all-region honors for the past three seasons.
Statistics: Burnam racked up 137 tackles in his freshman year, 209 as a sophomore and had 135 tackles as a junior. In his three years, he has also picked up six sacks and 39 tackles for a loss.
Favorite Schools: Burnam lists LSU, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Clemson as the top teams that are recruiting him now. He said he doesn’t really have a leader at this point in the process.
Skinny: Looking for a linebacker that’s not afraid to lay the smack down or come up with the big play in crunch time? If so, then Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County linebacker Deonte Burnam is your man. Burnam has racked up more than 400 tackles in his career and is pegged to be one of the state’s better prospects in the Class of 2003.
“I’m a hitter,” Burnam said. “I’m physical and play hard every play. I leave everything on the field and take up a lot of it with my ability to go sideline-to-sideline.”
Along with his impressive tackle stats, Burnam has helped Dooly County to a 32-6 record in his three years there. And that winning has built up a certain mentality with Burnam.
“I hate to lose,” he said. “I’ve been playing football since I was the age of 9, and I hate to lose. I’ve started all of my school’s last 38 games and we don’t lose around here.”
That’s the type of thing that attracts college coaches. And Burnam said he’s excited about the recruiting process and he’s not being picky about it.
“None of that really matters to me,” Burnam said when asked what he’s looking for in a school. “I just want to play.”