The next Whitlock? Burgess could fill the role.

Predicting who will make the Eskimos and what impact they will have on the team is not the easiest exercise to undertake. Did anyone see Arkee Whitlock making the team and being the impact player he was in 2009? Of course not. At the start of the season, the hope of the Eskimos running game was pinned on the backs of a non-import duo in Jesse Lumsden and Calvin McCarty. They also had Ciatrick Fason on the roster heading into training camp and had recently drafted Eric Lee. No one would have predicted the type of results for Whitlock that he delivered. So who could be that player this year?

One of the additions that was added in the projected roster is former Arizona State Sun Devil, Rudy Burgess. What position he plays is anyone’s guess. During a four-year playing career at ASU, Burgess lined up at wide receiver, cornerback, tailback, and kickoff and punt returner. A versatile playmaker, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Burgess has primarily earned his keep at wide receiver, which is where he will compete for a spot on the Eskimos roster; however his versatility makes him an intriguing prospect to watch going into camp.

Originally born in Brooklyn, New York, Burgess moved to California and attended Desert High School in Edwards, a small town located just northwest of Edwards Air Force Base. While attending Desert, he was a four-year, two-way starter for the football, while also running track. He was recruited by a number of schools in the PAC-10 and originally committed to Washington State before having a change of heart and accepting a scholarship to attend ASU.

Burgess is known for having a strong work ethic and good leadership skills. During his freshman year at ASU, he won the McBurney Offensive Scout Team Award for his efforts on the scout team. While putting up decent numbers over his career at ASU, Burgess never became the go to player on offense, settling into a more complementary role as the Sun Devils third receiver. He was a focal point of their return game and used his athletic ability to make plays in the open field. Open field, eh. Might translate into being pretty decent on a field that gives an extra few yards.

Burgess is a player with good speed, clocking a 4.4 forty time. As demonstrated in the video above, he can get vertical in a hurry, allowing him to fight for balls in the air. While scouts have noticed that he possesses great athleticism that allows for him to make difficult catches, it has been noted that being consistent is what holds back a talent like Burgess.

Burgess is a playmaker that if given any type of open field to work with, he can find a hole to squeeze through. It will be interesting to see how Burgess performs at camp, as the Eskimos currently have similar players in veteran Tristan Jackson and last year’s late addition, Skylar Green. If Burgess is going to make the squad, he will need to show that he can be a better receiving option then Green. If he does make the team, having a dynamic playmaker that is a dual threat to either catch or run with the football will allow offensive coordinator Kevin Strasser a little more flexibility to add a few wrinkles to an already dangerous looking offense.

As mentioned previously, no one predicted Arkee Whitlock’s success, so maybe fans of the Green & Gold should start taking an advance look at some of the talent being brought into camp for 2010. At the end of the season, you could be able to say that you saw it coming.


One response to this post.

  1. Just a quick note: Saleem Borhot has signed with the Eskimos. No real surprise, but maybe he could be the next big playmaker as well. We’ll see in the coming months.


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