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Jermaine Burton took home wide receiver MVP honors at The Opening regional on Sunday in Georgia.

Miami recruiting: Jermaine Burton doesn’t want to be player who wavers

David Wilson

Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. David Wilson and the DieHards.com team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read his daily notebooks here at 6:30 p.m. ET from Sunday through Thursday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.


WR Jermaine Burton gets MVP nod at The Opening regional

The wide receiver competition at The Opening regional on Sunday in Buford, Ga., was as tough as any position group you’re bound to find at a camp this offseason. Georgia 5-star commits Jadon Haselwood and Dominick Blaylock, the top two wide receivers in the Class of 2019, headlined the field. Clemson and Auburn commits in the 2019 class also took part.

None of those players earned the position MVP award, though. Instead, the distinction went to Jermaine Burton, a 4-star wide receiver in the Class of 2020, according to 247Sports. The Miami commit ran a 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, then went toe-to-toe with 4- and 5-star prospects a year older than him during drills. Even Burton admitted surprise at how well he did on a chilly day at Buford High School — the 40 time is the fastest he has clocked.

“I did know it was going to be a lot of comp with Jadon, Dom, other receivers out there,” Burton told DieHards. “I just knew, being a young guy, I had to come in and perform.”

It looks more and more like the Hurricanes securing Burton’s verbal pledge in December could wind up being one of the biggest coups of the 2020 cycle. He committed to Miami only a few days after the Hurricanes offered and made his decision before visiting campus. Jeff Sentell of DawgNation says Burton, who recently transferred back home to Marietta (Ga.) High School, is the best in-state player the Bulldogs are losing to another program.

Miami owes Burton’s commitment, in large part, to the last season the pass catcher spent at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Wide receiver Brian Hightower, who has enrolled early with the Hurricanes, taught Burton about Miami while both were at IMG. Avantae Williams, a 4-star athlete in the 2020 class, actively tried to recruit Burton when both were teammates with the Ascenders. The Hurricanes offered in December, and 12 days later the 6-foot-2, 180-pound rising junior committed.

RELATED: 2019 Miami recruiting big board

It took Burton nearly three months, but earlier in March he finally made it to Coral Gables, Fla. Burton played in the adidas East Coast Invitational 7-on-7 tournament in Homestead, Fla., earlier in March, then visited the next day. Wide receivers coach Ron Dugans delayed his vacation to host Burton on March 12.

Dugans welcomed Burton and some of his teammates at the football facilities and took them on a full tour. The prospects stopped by the trophy room, looked around the academic center and watched a video about the legacy at Miami. Burton finally got to wear an official Hurricanes jersey for the first time, too.

“My first impressions on it was it felt like home,” Burton said. “First step off the bus, I instantly loved it.”

Burton admits some doubts did creep into his head about committing so early without actually seeing the school. He concerns himself much more with the football aspects of his decision, though, so frequent conversations with Dugans, Hightower and Williams assuaged his concerns. He now tries to talk to Dugans daily, although it can be difficult because of their busy schedules.

Burton has a long way to go until he can sign in December 2019, so inevitably there will be visits elsewhere and coaches making intriguing pitches. All those things will come later, though. Burton doesn’t have any other visits lined up or even any other schools he is itching to see. All he knows is he will see the Hurricanes again soon. He and Dugans are talking about Burton visiting on Saturday, although Burton still is trying to figure out whether he can.

Either way, the wideout feels as firm as a player can be before finishing his sophomore year.

“I don’t want to be one of those players who de-commit, commit, de-commit, commit all over the place. I want to stick by my commitment,” Burton said. “It says a lot about your personality, and I’m loyal.”

Miami recruiting nuggets from The Opening regional in Georgia:

  • Kevin Harris had to scrap a trip to Miami for the Hurricanes’ junior day on Saturday. Instead, the 4-star outside linebacker from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., will head to the Miami metropolitan area. The 6-4, 218-pound edge rusher already has formed a good relationship with defensive line coach Jess Simpson. The No. 9 outside linebacker in the 247Sports composite rankings in the Class of 2019, Harris placed the Hurricanes in a top 3 with Alabama and LSU last week.
  • Max Johnson competed at a regional for The Opening for the second time on Sunday and measured in at 6-5, 215 pounds. He played his sophomore year at about 6-3, 190 pounds for Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Ga. Miami is the early favorite for the 4-star pro-style quarterback, who is coach Mark Richt’s nephew. The rising junior is former Florida State quarterback Brad Johnson’s son.

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