When it comes to recruiting quarterbacks, BYU's offensive staff has taken a unique approach over the last few years. Instead of casting a wide net like most FBS schools and extending a lot of scholarship offers, BYU's staff has been very deliberate with quarterback offers. In the latest recruiting class, the Cougars offered three quarterbacks. Nebraska, for example, offered 17 quarterbacks in the 2022 class.
Given the low number of scholarships extended to quarterbacks in recent years, it's clear that when BYU offers a quarterback they will make him a priority. On Saturday, BYU offered 2023 Springville quarterback Ryder Burton a scholarship.
BYU is the first school to offer Burton a scholarship, and it's an important offer for the Cougars. Quarterback is a position of need in the class of 2023. The last quarterback BYU signed from the high school ranks was Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters in the 2020 class. We caught up with Burton to discuss his recruitment and recent offer from BYU.
Burton first got in touch with members of BYU's staff at a Summer camp during his freshman season. Meanwhile, Burton started training with former BYU great quarterback John Beck in California before his junior season. Beck has worked closely with both Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall in recent years.
"What I love about John is he is an extremely detail-oriented guy and he knows what he's looking for," Burton said, on working with John Beck. "He's just really taking a lot of the raw talent that I've been blessed with and toned it to make me a more mechanical, more accurate quarterback."
Beck tells Burton that his confidence reminds him of his younger self. Beck jokes that it has something to do with both of them being born in August. But that's not the only thing Beck and Burton have in common. Last season, Burton threw a game-winning touchdown across his body on the last play of the game to beat Orem in the 5A state semifinals. A throw his mentor, John Beck, made in the iconic touchdown pass to Johnny Harline against Utah.
Both quarterbacks rolled to their right on the turf of Rice Eccles Stadium, and both quarterbacks found their tight ends for the game-winning score. "I feel some pressure. I roll out right and I look back to my left and I see Walker, my tight end and I see his white cleats flash across the back of the end zone, and I do my best Beck to Harline impression. And thankfully it turned out well," Burton said of the game-winning touchdown.
After the game, Burton exchanged texts with John Beck. "It's a special feeling to make a throw like that in that stadium. I've been there before," Beck told Burton.
Burton's arm talent is evident on tape. Listed at 6'2, 180 pounds, he has the arm strength to squeeze throws into tight windows, and he also has the necessary ability to slow things down and put touch on throws. In addition, his arm stays lively when he is on the move - he uses his feet to avoid pressure and run as needed. It is his arm talent and ability to process quickly that has put him on BYU's radar.
"I think they like my arm talent a lot," Burton said. "I feel like I fit the system really well. BYU throws a lot of out routes, a lot of big posts, there's a lot of play action and my film displays a lot of out routes and big posts...I think they like my ability to read things at a quicker pace as well."
Over the last few months, communication between Burton and BYU's offensive staff has been consistent. "The past two months is when things have really started to ramp up," Burton said. "It started off with Coach Fesi [Sitake] and then it became Coach Roderick, then Coach Mitchell and a few texts here and there with Kalani."
Burton has been in touch with various in-state schools like BYU, Utah, SUU, and Weber State. "Utah has especially [been in contact] in the past couple of days," Burton said.
As of right now, BYU is in a good position since they are the first to offer Burton a scholarship. BYU's affiliation with the Big 12 has peaked Burton's interest.
"Every kid dreams of the big stage, Power Five, nationally televised games," Burton said on what joining the Big 12 means for BYU. "And to be honest with you, I don't need that. I just I've been dying to play college football since I was little and I am more than grateful for the opportunity that BYU has given me to do that. But it doesn't get much bigger than the Big 12, right? It it brings in a ton of recruits just for the pure fact that you can say 'Hey we're playing in a Power five Conference. It helps BYU's chances of getting the bigger ballgames and getting taken more seriously by the college football playoff committee."
On when he hopes to make his college decision, Burton said, "I think I will make a decision before going into my senior year. I feel like that's best for me and the coaching staff."
Ryder Burton will be an important name for BYU fans to follow throughout this recruiting cycle.
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