What’s a good way to evaluate football talent away from the gridiron?
On the basketball court, of course.
Georgia Southern signed 26 players Wednesday on National Signing Day, and many of them got themselves noticed on the hardwood.
In fact, Monroe Area running back Tre’Shard Burdette, the only offensive player in the signing class to play in an option similar to that of the Eagles, wouldn’t even have gotten an offer if it weren’t for his hoops skills.
“We went and watched him play basketball one night,” said GSU coach Jeff Monken about the 6-foot, 210-pound B-back. “It probably wasn’t until we got to see him do all the things you do on a basketball floor – look athletic, change directions, get rebounds, make layups when a guy’s knocking into you — when I think that kind of set the wheels in motion seriously about recruiting the kid.”
Burdette wasn’t the only one.
Johnson Country wide receiver Zach Walker, who not only attends ***Herschal Walker’s alma mater but is also indirectly related to the former Georgia star, did some things with the basketball Monken sees translating well on the football field.
“He has great ball skills,” said Monken. “I watched him play basketball, and he just has a real knack for getting his hands around the ball and going up and getting it at its highest point. He does it on the football field when they throw the fade in the corner of the end zone and he’ll go up and get it. I watched him in a basketball game getting up over the top of people getting rebounds.”
Quan Daniels played linebacker at Colquitt County. Monken hopes to start Daniels at linebacker when he arrives at the summer, but could see him making the switch to defensive end, a position left light after none were signed in this year’s class.
It was Daniels’ speed on the basketball court that impressed Monken.
“He’s tall and light, and he plays on the basketball team as well,” said the GSUb coach. “He’s fast and he beats people up and down the court — even the little guys. He’s really impressive, and he plays that way on the football field, too.”
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.