New Michigan State Spartan WR Aaron Burbridge is a Big Get and a Good Get for Mark Dantonio


A big WR with a tough presence, Burbridge should make a good transition to the B1G.  Photo courtesy of Burbridge.
A big WR with a tough presence, Burbridge should make a good transition to the B1G. Photo courtesy of Burbridge.

The Spartan coaching staff snagged an important member of the 2012 recruiting class in wide receiver Aaron Burbridge. Ranked as the second best prospect in the state of Michigan by Rivals, Burbridge is the second four star recruit to choose Michigan State.

Aaron Burbridge was born and raised in Farmington Hills, a city in southeastern Michigan. The young man is an incoming senior at Harrison High School. The highly touted receiver was a major part of the Harrison football team that won the 2010 Division 2 Michigan state championship. He is considered by many (including Spartan Nation) as the best player in the state of Michigan.

So what makes Burbridge one of the best in the whole state of Michigan? His catching ability, first and foremost. The new MSU commit rarely drops a pass. We spoke to him on Spartan Nation Radio and he said, “It’s natural [to me],” said Burbridge. “I’ve always been able to catch real good since I was real little.” He has glue hands, especially on deep routes. Burbridge made the most of his opportunities last year in Harrison’s crowded wide receiver depth chart. He caught 26 passes for 540 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging 20 yards per catch.

The young recruit is not a one-dimensional wide receiver. Blocking is another area in which Burbridge excels. “I like blocking,” Burbridge said. “I have no problem with blocking for my team.” Another characteristic that sticks out is his speed. He has been called the “fastest [receiver] we've ever had" by his head coach, John Herrington. Burbridge runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. His speed helps him when he returns punts and kicks. He is a dangerous returner, as he constantly finds ways to elude defenders. As one person close to Burbridge accurately stated, “Aaron plays football the way it’s supposed to be [played]. He has an absolute passion and drive.”

Burbridge received scholarship offers from top-notch schools like Ohio State, Michigan, and Notre Dame. One of his main reasons for choosing Michigan State goes back to his childhood: he grew up following the Spartans. The success of previous players doesn’t hurt, either. “A lot of people from my school who went to State had successful careers there and went on to the NFL,” explained Burbridge. “And I feel like the same can happen for me.”

The two coaches who recruited him helped MSU’s cause. Brad Salem and Terrence Samuel helped Burbridge feel at home in East Lansing. Samuel in particular made an impact on the young man. “He was easy to talk to. He was a cool guy,” Burbridge said. “I feel like he can take my game to the next level.” Burbridge further complemented the coaching staff: “I liked everybody up there, all the coaches.”

He may make a lot of noise while on the field, but off the field, Burbridge is a quiet young man. He is service-oriented and “like[s] to give back.” Burbridge has made an impact on those around him. One employee at his school said, “He’s not a real talker, he’s just a sweetheart of a kid.”