During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Next up, Donte Burton
Name: Donte Burton
2020 eligibility: Redshirt sophomore
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 Composite 3-star, No. 58 cornerback, Loganville, GA
2017 Recruitment: Donte Burton was recruited by some big time schools early in his recruiting process. In 2016, Burton received his first scholarship offer from Vanderbilt and then Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Auburn and North Carolina came calling shortly after. In July of 2016, Burton committed to the University of North Carolina. His recruitment stayed steady over the coming months with offers from Virginia Tech, Oregon, Pitt and West Virginia. In April 2017 Burton decommited from UNC, and received an offer from Wisconsin a month later. On October 1st, 2017, Burton committed to UW and enrolled on January 10th, 2018.
Career statistics: 12 total tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 pass defended
2019 statistics: 5 solo tackles, 1 pass defended
Player Overview: As previously mentioned Donte Burton was a pretty strong recruit and Wisconsin coaches we’re very excited to land a player of his caliber. When he enrolled in January 2018 a lot of people thought Burton could be a player that saw the field very early on given the lack of depth in the secondary. In that season, Burton played in four games and retained his redshirt status. In 2019, Burton saw a little more of the field, appearing in six games. Burton got a lot of snaps down the stretch last season, seeing a good amount of playing time in both the Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl games.
Best case scenario for 2020: Coming into 2020 the cornerbacks and secondary appears to be as strong a room as any for Wisconsin football which is not something you hear often. Burton and teammates like Faion Hicks, Rachad Wildgoose and Caesar Williams all come in as players that saw a lot of early field time as underclassman which means the Badgers will have a ton of experienced depth at the position.
In Burton’s case, the best case scenario for him would be to come into fall camp and win one of the starting two cornerback spots. As it sits right now, Burton is likely in the second group chasing the likes of Hicks and Williams who put together very strong 2019 campaigns, especially in the latter half of the season. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard is not shy about playing a lot of different guys, but at the end of the day he’s going to try and get the best 11 on the field as much as possible. Burton has all the talent to be able to do it, but there’s no doubt it will be a heated battled to retain one of the starting spots.
Likely role on team in 2020: I expect Faion Hicks and Ceasar Williams to win the starting jobs to start the year, but that doesn’t close the door for others. Last season Deron Harrell started the first few games and in the latter portion of the season Leonhard switched things up. I believe Donte Burton will be in the mix just as he was last season, and should see a little more playing similar to what we saw in the postseason contests. If there are sets where Leonhard looks to play three corners Burton could certainly fill that roll. Fall camp will likely make or break who gets the primary snaps out of the gate and if Burton has a strong one, he could see a lot of early playing time.