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Burton accepts Florida offer, decommits from Irish

Oct 26, 2010, 2:03 PM EDT

Chalk another poaching up to Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators of a top-flight defensive recruit, joining Justin Trattou and Omar Hunter of years past. Only this one, Irish fans probably should’ve seen coming.

Defensive end Clay Burton decommitted from Notre Dame earlier this week, accepting a scholarship offer from Florida, where his older brother, Trey Burton, is a quarterback.

“Definitely very excited, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” Clay told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s everything to be able to experience this together and to have someone to confide in while we go through it and just basically be brothers. I wouldn’t rather spend time with anybody than him. We take this road together.”

According to the boys mother, Cindy, the decision to decommit was one that weighed heavily.

“Our family decision was that he would not commit somewhere and then decommit at a later time,” Cindy said, “so it’s very hard when you tell someone that you won’t decommit and then change your mind. But Clay really felt llike he had to take it.”

It’s hard to hold strong to a family decision when the hometown Gators come calling, and regardless of the good things Burton and his family have to say about defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and head coach Brian Kelly, this was a tough battle to win if the Gators stepped in and offered Burton.

The Irish still have offers out to high-profile defensive players Ishaq Williams and Ray Drew, and currently have blue-chippers Stephon Tuitt and Aaron Lynch already committed at defensive end, and Ben Councell, Anthony Rabassa already set as 3-4 outside linebackers. A loss is a loss in recruiting, especially at a position of need, but the Irish have other lines in the water and the position pretty well stocked. The Irish currently have 18 verbal commitments.

  1. brendanunderscoreg - Oct 26, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    agree with everything you say. tough to hold a grudge against a kid who wants to play with his brother at their hometown school.

  2. danno27 - Oct 26, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    This is a hard week to take, all the same. Completely unrelated to Burton, I’m always reminded of those domestic violence episodes where a big dude gets pounded on by his small wife whenever Notre Dame loses to Navy. Only this time, it’s like she took a crowbar to him.

  3. kmf84 - Oct 27, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Probably looked at the course load and ran. Underwater Basket Weaving and Beginning Music Awareness were more to his liking. I had too much sibling rivalry to go to school where my brother did. Can’t blame the kid though.

  4. bigirishfan - Oct 27, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    This is just the beginning.

    We are going to lose all of our prized recruits.

    I don’t blame players for going elsewhere.

    They will have to work harder at ND academically to stay eligible.

    Combine that with the fact that we have below average talent and coaching.

    Plus, recently few ND players have been drafted highly by the NFL.

    It all adds up to a very bleak picture.

    The only upside is that recruits might get immediate playing time because our existing roster is so devoid of talent.

    Who wants to come play in minor bowl games…when you can go elsewhere and compete at the highest levels.

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