4-Star Ohio State Commit Matthew Burrell Bringing Versatility, Recruiting Chops

Sanjay Kirpalani@@SanjayKirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystNovember 18, 2014

Credit: 247Sports

Ohio State’s 2015 recruiting class netted a huge addition on Monday when 4-star offensive lineman Matthew Burrell committed to the Buckeyes.

Urban Meyer and his staff were able to beat out the likes of Florida State, Penn State, LSU and Tennessee for the 6’5”, 302-pounder’s commitment.

Burrell is the 21st pledge in a class that surged into the No. 5 spot in the 247Sports Team Rankings.

But what are the Buckeyes getting in Burrell, and what were the deciding factors that led him to commit to Meyer? 

According to his offensive line coach at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Virginia—John Harris—Meyer and Buckeyes offensive line coach Ed Warinner played a pivotal role in Burrell’s choice.

“Matt’s big thing is relationships,” Harris said. “He’s a kid [who] is going to work very hard and do whatever he’s asked to do. He wanted to make sure that he trusted his head coach, but also that he trusted his position coach. He always had a good relationship with Coach Meyer. The more that [he] and Coach Warinner got to know each other, the more comfortable he felt with his decision.”

The Buckeyes have recruited him persistently since his sophomore season, and the trust factor with Meyer is what helped the Buckeyes stave off late pushes from schools such as Penn State, LSU and Tennessee. 

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“He really just believed in what Coach Meyer was saying to him,” Harris said. “Matt is big on that. For him, if he’s going to dedicate the next four or five years of his life to you, he wants to know exactly who you are.”

As far as what they getting on the field with Burrell, Harris said it’s a package of smarts, physical toughness and versatility that made the U.S. Army All-American such a coveted prospect.

According to Barton Simmons of 247Sports, Burrell is a player who has proven to be at his best when competing against elite talents during numerous summer camps and at The Opening.

Harris praised his star pupil for being a punishing blocker with great footwork. But considering that he has a GPA of “a little over 3.5,” what sets Burrell apart is his intelligence and maturity level on and off the field. Those attributes, combined with his ability to play at multiple positions on the line, could help him get on the field early in Columbus.

“I think the thing that will help him the most is that he can play every position on the offensive line. As a young player on the next level, it kind of helps that he won’t be only a tackle or guard or center. That fact that he’s not only physically able to do it, but mentally knows how to play every position, that’s what will help him get on the field faster.

Just because he’s committed doesn’t mean that Burrell is done with the recruiting process. In fact, his next job may be to help the Buckeyes close out the 2015 class with a bang.

According to Harris, that’s a job that he’s more than capable of filling due to his outgoing personality.

“Not only is he a great player, with his personality, he’s going to be a great recruiter for them for years to come,” Harris said. "If I was his coach [at Ohio State], I would tell Matt to get on the bandwagon and start helping them recruit.”

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. 


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