- Brendan C. Hall, ESPN Staff Writer
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Earlier today, St. John's Prep tight end Jake Burt announced his commitment to Boston College, the fourth Bay Stater to pledge to the Eagles' 2015 recruiting class in the last 25 days.
When Burt, a Lynnfield resident, arrives in Chestnut Hill in the fall of 2015, he'll be the program's first scholarship player from St. John's Prep since Jon Loyte graduated in 2008. Ironically enough, that's the player he draws comparisons to, with former head coach Jim O'Leary telling a group of reporters last August, "I love Jon Loyte, but he [Burt] is more athletic."
While 2013 was a rough season for a Prep squad ravaged by injuries -- including Penn State-bound tailback Johnathan Thomas, the state's top prospect, who went down for the season after just three games -- it was a bright one for Burt, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound flex end who demonstrated some impressive intangibles despite limited touches.
"He's legitimately a 6-4, 230-pound kid... he could be a 250-260 pound tight end in 2-3 offseasons, he projects that way," said new Prep head coach Brian St. Pierre, a former Prep and BC star who spent nearly a decade in the NFL as a backup quarterback. "He's very athletic, and you see that on film. He's a very natural catcher of the ball -- which sounds silly, but it's true. He makes it look easy, there's not a lot of people who do that.
"He's a unique talent. He's a very good blocker. BC runs multiple tight end sets, they want their tight ends on the field, and he's very comfortable in a situation where he's blocking and going downfield to make a catch. He's a prototype tight end, and that's what BC has done for a long time."
For Burt -- who also held offers from Virginia, Holy Cross, Harvard and Brown -- a commitment to BC today fulfills a childhood dream, saying it's always been a desire for him to suit up for the Eagles.
Burt spoke with ESPNBoston.com tonight for a few thoughts on that, and more:
Deciding factors: "I knew I wanted to go into business when I get older. Boston College has a great business program, and being in the Boston area, where want to live, it's as good as any. Their football is also really good, and I wanted to play big-time college football. This has been a dream of mine since I was little, and being close to home everyone I know from Mass. can come and watch."
On Brian St. Pierre's guidance in the recruiting process: "I'm really close with coach St. Pierre. I know he went there, but he had no bias or nothing in this. Wherever I wanted to go, he helped schedule rec trips. He talked to a bunch of coaches for me. I know he was excited about this.... He told me [the recruiting process] is going to be tough, there's going to be a lot of people calling me. He always said whenever I need anything, 'Come talk to me'."
On the coaching staff at BC: "Just the BC program in general is on the rise, with their bowl game last season. I like what the staff is doing, they said want to put walls around Mass. and not let anyone out. They're building the program up real well, and I'm excited be a part of that. I like how excited they are, how committed they are to football. They're all very enthusiastic about everything, and that’s exciting."
5dMike Scandura, Special to ESPNBoston.com
10dBrendan C. Hall
11dBrendan C. Hall
12dMike Scandura, Special to ESPNBoston.com
13dBrendan C. Hall