Today we have another walk-on, but he is a walk-on that has been a contributor in the past and hopes to have a larger role in the future.
Jarrett Burgess – Jr.
Miami, FL (Florida Christian HS)
6’2”, 218 pounds
2017 Projection: Possible contributor at wide receiver
When the season starts on September 2nd Burgess will be the rare 27-year-old junior. That he has contributed after spending a very long time away from football is incredible. In high school he didn’t even play football as he was a baseball standout. In 2008 he was a 6th round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners, so he went off to play baseball.
Burgess spent five seasons in the minor leagues, but never got higher than the Class A level. He batted .211 for his career, but eventually became a pitcher. That was short lived as he lasted only two games in 2012 and 3 2/3 innings before he was done.
In 2015 he ended up at Purdue, where he was able to walk on to the football team as a 25-year-old freshman. His speed was a nice asset, and he even saw action. He had three carries on end-arounds for 60 yards and even had a touchdown against Bowling Green.
He also added three tackles on special teams. Last season he was used a little, catching two passes for 7 yards and getting a pair of special teams tackles. Overall he has played in 21 games so far, mostly as a special teamer.
So what is in store for him now? Well, he is a natural athlete that is clearly still learning the game of football after being away for so long. He does bring decent speed to the field and now experience on special teams. He’ll play this year for sure.