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Friday, November 22, 2013
Burgess-Becker has impressive top five

By Gerry Hamilton

When looking at the list of top juniors in the state of Florida, it doesn’t take long to get to Shawn Burgess-Becker (Coconut Creek, Fla./Monarch).

The list of programs standing out to the 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back and wide receiver is impressive as well.

“Alabama, [Miami], FSU, LSU and UF is my top five,” said Burgess-Becker who has been on recruiting radars for some time now. “Every team in my top five are even and equal,”

Florida’s ‘big three’ programs are going to have to fight off two of the top programs in the country, and in the Southeast Region to keep the No. 85–ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 in his home state.

“Alabama is a tremendous football team. They are great at what they do,” he said. “They have been having great seasons, and Coach Nick Saban has been getting a lot of players to the next level. LSU, I went over there for one of their camps. The facilities up there are very nice. They have a couple of outstanding DBs, great offensive players and have been doing pretty good this year.”

Miami might hold the sentimental advantage at this point. The Hurricanes were the team the athletic defensive back prospect watched growing up.

“I watched UM a lot. A lot of my family members are big UM fans,”

While Burgess-Becker has more long-term upside on the defensive side of the ball, he hasn’t completely ruled out playing offense. The messages from college coaches vary as well.

“Most of them just say athlete,” he said. “I did pretty good on offense this year, so I’m going to see how I do on offense and defense next year and go from there. I think I could play corner or safety on defense.”

Monarch’s season come to end last week with a playoff loss to Miramar 31-21, finishing 8-3. For Burgess-Becker, he can point to his added strength as being key for his success on both sides of the ball this season.

“I feel like I improved [this season] with the way I come downhill,” he said. “My speed got better. I just make tackles better and play the game better overall than last year.”

With the season now complete, Burgess-Becker is turning his attention to recruiting. He plans to hit a trio of college games in the next few weeks with teammate and No. 32-ranked junior Calvin Ridley. The first will be South Florida at UCF Nov. 29 followed by Florida State at Florida Nov. 30 and Texas at Baylor Dec. 7.

His ever-growing offer list includes Alabama, Miami, Florida State, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Wisconsin, N.C. State and West Virginia among others.