In his first game for IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) against Carol City (Miami Gardens) on Friday night, class of 2020 standout Jermaine Burton ran out as one of the team’s starting wide receivers.
“It was really amazing to start my first game,” Burton told The Clemson Insider, “but I knew I was going to have to work for it and it wasn’t going to be easy.”
Making Burton’s starting role even more impressive is the fact he is just a sophomore on a team loaded with talent at his position.
According to IMG head coach Kevin Wright, Burton earned the opportunity during the preseason after transferring to IMG from Hapeville Charter (Atlanta) over the offseason.
“Jermaine has had a really good preseason,” Wright said. “He’s caught the ball well, and I think tonight, he grew up a little bit. Things are a little bit faster in real-life action, and he’s a guy I think has huge potential. So it was good for him to get this varsity game experience at this level. It’s a whole lot faster speed, more physicality, but I think he’ll do nothing but get better.”
Powerhouse college programs have taken notice of Burton’s talent and upside early in his recruiting process. The four-star already owns double-digit scholarship offers, including ones from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Southern Cal.
Clemson is showing interest in Burton and invited him to visit the school in May. He made the trip and left highly intrigued by what the Tigers have to offer.
When Burton looks at Clemson as a school of interest, its history and tradition at the receiver position that has led to the “Wide Receiver U” label certainly appeals to him.
“It means a lot because seeing receivers like Mike Williams, DeAndre Hopkins and Adam Humphries come from Clemson is really impressive,” Burton said, “and I would love to look more into them.”
There’s a long list of former Tiger wideouts that have gone on to play in the NFL, but Burton is a big fan of one in particular.
“Mike Williams no doubt,” he said. “The plays he made were unbelievable.”
Burton (6-0, 175) and IMG continue their season this Saturday at Chandler (Ariz.). The game will be televised by ESPNU.
Burton’s experience at IMG thus far has been everything he could have asked for, and more.
“It’s a blessing to be where I’m at, and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else in the game of football,” he said. “The first game wearing IMG across my chest was very special to me and my family, and I can’t wait to continue wearing it every Friday night.”
Burton is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 22 receiver and No. 101 prospect regardless of position in his class.
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