Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
In-state offensive lineman Will Burgess unknown, but talented
Lake Hamilton junior offensive lineman Will Burgess.
Lake Hamilton junior offensive lineman Will Burgess might be the least known prospect in the state, but he’s one of the more talented ones.
Burgess, 6-4, 340 pounds showed excellent strength and good mobility along with a nasty streak during his dominating junior year. He ended the season with approximately 75 pancake blocks.
“I love to put people on the ground,” Burgess said. “That’s pretty much my favorite thing to do when it comes to football.”
Lake Hamilton’s pervious head coach left in January after one season. Tommy Gilleran was named the new coach in mid-February and soon met with Burgess and realized he had no interest from colleges.
“I said ‘You’re kidding me’,” Gilleran said.
He quickly made contact with Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr.
“I text Barry Lunney after the first meeting,” Gilleran said. “I didn't see any film on the kid. I just met him and I said ‘He’s a giant’.”
The Wolves ran a ground oriented attack last year that had the offensive linemen putting most of their weight on their toes for downhill blocking.
“He said they need to see more because of the stance he’s in …but he got their interest with his size and weight,” said Gilleran of Lunney. “We did some videos of him jumping and squatting. We’ve done some stuff to help him out and I started contacting other people I knew and started putting his name out there.”
Burgess, who has a 365 pound bench press, 475 squat and about 300 power clean, is also seeing interest from Arkansas State and Memphis. He’s been in touch with Lunney for about a month.
“He’s told me they’re very interested,” Burgess said.
He plans to visit Fayetteville on Saturday.
“He asked me to come up for a visit and I obviously said ‘Yes’,” Burgess said. “We have a pretty close relaltionship.”
His late father William (Bill) Burgess played running back and returned kicks for Arkansas in 1978-1980. Burgess said a scholarship offer from the Hogs would be big.
“That would be my childhood dream,” Burgess said. “I would go to Arkansas if I had an offer from Alabama or anywhere. It would be a dream come true.”
Should an offer come from the Razorbacks, Burgess indicated an answer would likely come quickly.
“I would probably take it into consideration and talk to my family and get an answer as quick as possible,” he said.
Burgess said his family is thrilled by the interest from the Hogs.
“They’re extremely excited,” Burgess said. “Our whole family is Razorback everything.”
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