After a flurry of activity to kick off the month of May, things have been relatively quiet on the recruiting front for the Iowa Hawkeyes over the last six weeks. While that has meant no commitments since Iowa landed a pair of offensive linemen and a WR transfer from Ohio State in the first week of May, there have been things happening in the background.
The Hawkeyes have hosted a few camps in recent weeks and have been highly active in issuing new offers on the heels of those in-person evaluations. One such offer came to Omaha tight end Michael Burt, who camped with the Hawkeyes nearly three weeks ago.
The camp visit and subsequent offer from Iowa set Burt’s recruitment into overdrive as he went from a relatively unproven prospect with upside to a sought after commodity within the Big Ten West. Within hours, both Minnesota and home-state Nebraska jumped on board with offers of their own. Within a day, Illinois joined the party.
On Thursday, Burt showed it pays to do your own homework and be the first mover as he announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes.
As noted, Burt was a largely under the radar prospect ahead of his visit to Iowa City in early June having only 11 catches for 187 yards and one TD as a junior at Creighton Prep. That was due in part to an ankle injury that held him back and in part due to an offense that was primarily geared toward the option running game with their leading passer throwing for fewer than 400 yards on the season.
Despite the limited use, Creighton Prep head coach Tim Johnk says Burt is a versatile athlete who brings a lot to the table.
“He’s talked to a lot of people here this last month before February 1st. Again, his recruiting is at the infant stage because he’s a little bit of an unknown, but he had a great year for us. He battled a little bit of an ankle injury throughout the course of the year, but if you look statistically, he made some great catches, big catches in big games, and was one of our top two receivers. He’s also a guy that can be in line. He can play off the ball, in the backfield, and we try to do all those things with our tight ends, so he’s very versatile.
He’s a three-sport athlete. Plays basketball and baseball, so I like the fact that he’s very competitive all year long which is, I think, really anymore. Especially at Prep, you don’t see a lot of three-sport guys. We seem to have a lot of two-sport guys, but to be a three-sport guy and to do what he’s doing, I think, is pretty impressive—huge upside for Michael Burt. I think he is absolutely going to be a guy that the recruiting process will catch a lot of steam here.”
That versatility shows up on film where Burt is indeed moved around quite a bit. With only limited highlights in the passing game, he does show an ability to use his big frame (Burt enters his senior season a shade over 6’5” and at 225 pounds) to go up and get the ball while also moving very well for his size. That ties back to the comments from Coach Johnk on Burt’s versatility and athleticism as a baseball and basketball player at Creighton Prep.
Perhaps more notable though on film is Burt’s prowess in the run game. He’s a very good blocker at the tight end position and it seems that’s where he shined while on campus earlier this month. Talking with On3, Burt said he really took to the teaching of Iowa tight end coach Abdul Hodge.
“But I think the main factor in getting the offer was the head-to-head blocking drills. I did very well using the technique that Coach Hodge taught us earlier in the camp. The way he teaches blocking is a little unique, but it’s easier for me to be a better blocker using the technique that he teaches.”
On it’s face, the versatility, blocking and willingness to take coaching seems like a great fit for the Hawkeyes. It also is apparently exactly the fit Burt was looking for in his recruitment. And it never hurts to be known as Tight End U.
“The way they use tight ends stood out to me and they showed me that through film. The focus on development, especially with the success at producing successful tight ends.”
Burt ultimately chose the Hawkeyes over offers from Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Miami-OH, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, and Southeast Missouri State. As noted, his recruitment really took off with that offer from the Hawkeyes with all three of his other power five offers immediately following. Locking him up early before his recruitment continued to take off is a win for Iowa.
The addition of Burt takes Iowa’s class of 2024 up to 12 total commitments. The class is ranked 31st nationally according to 247 Sports (38th per Rivals and 26th per On3). That’s good for 7th in the Big Ten (10th per Rivals and 5th per On3). With a big recruiting weekend on deck in the coming days, the Hawkeyes will look to keep that momentum going and grow the commitment list in the coming weeks.
Welcome aboard Michael Burt!