FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas extended a football scholarship offer to El Dorado Class of 2023 wide receiver DeAndra Burns on Thursday.
El Dorado assistant coach Matthew Nash talked about the moment Arkansas offered Burns on Thursday.
“He knows he’s one of the fastest kids in the state,” Nash said. “He knows that, but he was totally just over the moom, surprised, all of us. We were all just sitting there holding tears back because it was just phenomenal.”
Some question how a young player such as a sophomore will handle the early recruiting attention, but Nash knows that will not be an issue for Burns.
“No, and that’s another thing that shows you what kind of kid he is when we told the team they literally beat him to death with hugs, slaps on the butt,” Nash said. “Because they see how he is and how he helps the team and they all love him. Same with the coaches. We’re all in here. I mean I’m doing everything I can not to cry. He’s like one of my kids. If one of my kids got offered I don’t know if I could be more happier.”
Burns is the third known in-state offer for Arkansas in 2023. Burns, 5-11, 142, has helped the Wildcats to a 2-3 start on the season. In five games, Burns has caught 36 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns. Nash talked about the kind of player Burns is and what Arkansas saw in him.
“As a sophomore, he has come in and in the weight room he’s a leader,” Nash said. “He gets in everyone’s business to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. The one thing that really impresses me is he is a kid that plays even if he doesn’t have the ball he’s blocking his butt off. He’s running up to safeties. He just does everything you expect elite receivers to do. I’m not just trying to sugarcoat and make him look good, but when a teammate scores a touchdown he’s the first one over there to give them a hug. He’s just all-around team player.”
Burns’ size didn’t hurt his recruiting with Arkansas. Nash talked about how big Burns may be by the time he’s a senior for the Wildcats.
“He probably won’t grow much taller,” Nash said. “But he gets in that weight room just the way he works in there. He’s a track guy and he loves track too. So he’s kinda scared about gaining weight, but the way he works in that weight room there’s no way he won’t way get physically stronger and physically faster. He’s gonna be a guy like the guy with the Kansas City Chiefs that can fly and make catches.”
Other than the obvious speed factor, Nash talked about what he thinks are his strengths for Burns.
“He has exceptional ball skills,” Nash said. “If it’s anywhere in his frame, even if it’s out of his frame, he is gonna dive. He’s going to jump. He’s going to do everything it takes to get that ball. Last week when we played Marion he made just some phenominal catches just by leaving his feet. He’s just the kid that he wants the ball, but if he doesn’t have the ball he’s gonna take care of his other wide receiver teammates and his running backs. That’s just the type of kid he is.”
Burns joins Ashdown tight end Shamar Easter, 6-5, 205, and Jacksonville running back Darien Bennett, 6-0, 215, in holding an offer from Arkansas in 2023.
El Dorado started the season 0-3 but has won its last two games. Burns and his teammates will be at home tonight to host Sylvan Hills (4-3) at 7 p.m.