By DARRYL MAXIE / firstname.lastname@example.org
Walton defensive end Brandon Burrows likely will be out for the upcoming football season after suffering a torn ACL last week in practice. But new Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo is heartened by the responses of the schools that have offered Burrows scholarships.
“Most have called to reaffirm that they’re still interested in him,” Hidalgo said Wednesday, nearly a week after the injury. “I spoke to [Georgia coach] Mark Richt directly and to Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson and Oklahoma, who have all reaffirmed they’re still interested.”
Burrows, a 6-foot-4, 238-pound junior, has offers from those schools and Florida, Maryland, N.C. State, Purdue, among others. Hidalgo was impressed by the speed with which some schools responded to Burrows’ injury.
“Clemson, Coach Richt, Coach [Stacy] Searels [Georgia's offensive line coach], they called me about 8 the next morning to assure him that he still has an offer, as did Alabama and Oklahoma,” Hidalgo said. “They did the right thing. All those schools are headed by good men.”
It was hardly the way Hidalgo wanted his first year as Walton’s head coach to begin, after 13 years as a Raiders assistant. The college response picked up Burrows’ spirits.
“It picked up mine as well,” Hidalgo said. “A kid gets hurt and the first thing you think about is not how it’s going to affect your season, but how it’s going to affect his future. By noon Friday, I felt a lot better about it.”
Though he has been recruited more as a defensive end, Burrows was scrimmaging at running back last Thursday when he took a hit and “fell funny,” Hidalgo said. “You watch the tape and you would not have known it was that serious an injury.”
Hidalgo said Burrows’ character was one of the reasons schools are still eager to have him.
“He’s a special player and a special person — polite, respectful, honest, conscientious, all the things you want your son to be,” Hidalgo said.