Former Newton South quarterback Austin Burton verbally committed to Boston College last week. Burton, who will attend West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla., for his senior season, also had an offer from UCLA. Burton has the physical tools and the size to develop into a starting quarterback at the collegiate level. Here is my scouting report on Burton.
Arm Strength: Burton has plus arm strength. He has the ability to add and subtract on each throw and he can fit the ball into tight areas. Shows good touch on his deep ball.
Set Up: Burton has played in the shotgun his entire high school career. He's fluid in his drop and can set up and deliver the ball on time consistently. Displays good body posture in the pocket. Stands tall and he does a good job of feeling the rush.
Accuracy: Burton throws an accurate ball. He has an advanced understanding of route placement. He can throw receivers open on vertical and underneath routes and he can put the ball in a spot on time routes.
Field Vision: Burton sees the field well, especially on the move. He doesn't seem to make a lot of post-snap decisions in the pocket in the offense he played in.
Running Ability: In my opinion, this is the most underrated part of Burton's game. Burton is athletic and can extend plays when the pocket collapses. He's a long strider who can separate in the open field. Burton also does a great job of extending plays from within the pocket.
Delivery: Burton does a good job of loading the football and getting it out on time. He makes quick decisions, especially in the three-step and perimeter screen games. Burton's delivery is consistent. He doesn't vary it based on the throw.
Ball Handling: Burton has experience executing token fakes out of the gun, but he hasn't played under center, so he will need work on executing hard fakes from under center. Burton does a good job of getting the ball off quickly after executing the fake.
Leadership: Having seen Burton at passing tournaments, he certainly has the leadership skills necessary to run a huddle at college level. On film, he's poised under pressure and doesn't let the moment get to him. He's a dude. He knows it, his teammates know it, and they look to him to make a play when the team needs it.
Bottom Line: Burton has the physical tools and the experience to thrive at the next level. As long as he has the time to mature physically, Burton can develop into a starter at Boston College. He will need to sit for a couple of years and learn how to play the game at the next level. There is no doubt in my mind that the upside is there. Burton could be a good ACC quarterback. Physically, Burton reminds me of Patriots rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who had a similar build coming out of high school.