The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
High School Notebook: Burton chooses Syracuse
FORMER COUGAR LINEMAN GETS SCHOLARSHIP OFFER TO PLAY FOR ORANGE
BY NATHAN WARTERS
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Fork Union Military Academy wasn’t among the most desired post-high school destinations for Jon Burton, but he knew going there was necessary to earn the Division I scholarship he was seeking.
He didn’t want to go at first, but he’s glad now that he did.
The former Courtland offensive lineman who left high school with no Division I offers recently committed to play next year at Syracuse.
“I’m very glad,” said the 6-foot-8, 305-pound Burton, who just recently finished his post-graduate season at FUMA. “Before I even thought about Fork Union, I had no clue what it would bring to the table for me, and now looking afterwards I’m really glad I did it. It opened up this great opportunity for me.”
Burton felt Syracuse was the right fit for him, and not just because it was the only major Division I school to offer him a scholarship.
“I like the coaching staff a lot. There’s a good family feeling among the players,” said Burton, who also received a scholarship offer from Division I FCS school Bethune–Cookman. “The facilities are nice, and the campus is really nice, too.”
Burton said he plans to enroll in January so he can participate in spring practice, but he expects to be redshirted his first season with the Orange, which went 8–5 in 2012 with a bowl win over West Virginia.
J.C. Hall, Burton’s coach at Courtland, thinks Syracuse got a diamond in the rough.
“He was a late bloomer in high school. He was a late bloomer in the recruiting process. I don’t know if he’ll be a late bloomer for Syracuse or not, but when he figures it out, he can be a dominant force,” Hall said.
OFFERS MOUNT FOR FOSTER
Massaponax senior running back/defensive back Joey Foster has received a steady stream of scholarship offers over the last month, and he plans to make official visits in the weeks leading up to signing day on Feb. 6.
Foster has offers from five Division I FCS schools—Harvard, Dartmouth, Holy Cross, New Hampshire and San Diego—and has also received strong interest from William & Mary.
Holy Cross, New Hampshire and San Diego have offered full athletic scholarships, while Harvard and Dartmouth have offered academic-based scholarships that would come close to paying full tuition.
Foster is scheduled to make most of his official visits this month. He plans to visit Harvard on Jan. 11 and Dartmouth, Holy Cross and New Hampshire the following weekend.
Rob Foster said his son is leaning toward Harvard, but first he has to go through its admissions process.
“He’s already been given the offer, so it’s just a matter of them getting him through the admissions process,” Rob Foster said of his son, who runs a 4.4 40-yard dash and carries a 3.9 GPA. “I think it’s more of a formality. He’s already met their criteria academically.”
Massaponax coach Eric Ludden said Foster would be a “great fit” at the Ivy League level.
“I talk to my team all the time about how that’s the best of both worlds, because not only are you an elite athlete, but you’re also elite in the academic world,” Ludden said. “I think that’s something they can all strive for, and I think it’s perfect for Joey.”
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442