Hailing from one of the powerhouse programs in the country at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, 2022 four-star defensive end Nate Burrell has experienced a significant interruption in his recruitment since prospects are not permitted to take visits. Despite that ruling, Burrell is doing the best he can to learn about his 13 Power Five offers individually, and he has his eyes fixed on one particular program.
"It is kind of hard, just I can't be in the environment around the school and meeting the whole staff," Burrell told Wolverine Digest. "It's just getting harder to narrow down my decision to pick a school later on. I feel like when everything opens back up, I'm going to go on a lot of visits, especially to Michigan. That's one of my main schools right now."
Even though Burrell is located out in California, he has long been a supporter of the U-M program, so he feels that it is extra special to hold an offer from the Wolverines program, one that came in December of last year.
"Since I got the offer, it's always been a top school," Burrell said. "Even before, it's always been a really good program. The way they run their defense, I feel like I could fit into that."
Right now, Burrell is busy training for the 2021 season and is working hard with his teammates in practice each day. Since he cannot go on visits over the weekend, it's provided him a lot of time to think about which schools he'd like to get to once the dead period is lifted.
"As for schools right now, my options are really open," Burrell said. "I'm still open to any options. I'm just being patient right now, but mostly on Saturdays I just watch as much football as I can, as many teams as I can."
Ranked as a top 20 defensive end by Rivals.com, Burrell said that he's "looking forward to" checking out Michigan once time allows, and he'll also be paying attention to the Wolverines program in the meantime.
"I tune into a lot of Michigan games, and I'll just keep watching them on Saturday," Burrell said.
Ideally, Burrell would have the opportunity to watch Michigan play up close and personal on a visit to Ann Arbor, but he'll have to keep tabs on U-M virtually for the time being. And while he is doing so, Burrell is fixated on topping his 60 tackle, eight sack performance from a year ago.
"We are still working," Burrell said. "We've got practice everyday, so hopefully everything will come together and in January we will have a season. I've just been working on my run stopping abilities and just getting bigger and faster off the line."
In terms of working on his physical profile, Burrell checks in at 6-3 and 265 pounds, so he already has collegiate size. This season, Burrell expects to play mostly on the strong-side of the line but will flex over to the weak-side at times too. Most schools are interested in the 2022 prospect at either position, so that is another factor for the versatile pass rusher to consider as he progresses through his recruitment.
How many defensive linemen do you think Michigan should take in the 2022 class? Would you prefer for U-M to lean more towards SDE or WDE? Let us know!