Rex Burkhead, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound three-star running back/safety from Plano Senior High School in Texas, has around 35 scholarship offers from schools nationwide.
The versatile youngster continues to deny a favorite from among offering programs such as LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Stanford, California, Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee, TCU, Texas Tech, Minnesota, Kansas, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, North Texas and Michigan, among others.
"I don’t have a list of favorites yet," Burkhead said. "I'm trying to make some visits this summer and narrow it down."
In fact, Burkhead's currently on one of those visits as he's vacationing in Kentucky with his family. "I was born in Lexington and we lived in Kentucky for about six years before my dad got a job in Plano," he said. "I haven't been back in about three years, but most of our family is still in Kentucky. We already visited Kentucky and we're going to Louisville later this week."
Burkhead has also visited both Texas Tech and Texas for their junior days. The Longhorns, however, are one of the few programs that haven't offered him. "I'm not sure how serious Texas is about me," he said. "I think if they knew that I'd commit they'd offer, but I really want to wait before I do that."
He says he enjoyed his time at Texas Tech and thinks the Red Raiders will have a strong 2008 campaign. "I saw their spring game on TV and the defense looked really good," he said. "With the high-powered offense they have and now the defense, they should be really good next season."
Burkhead states the two programs he's actually most eager to see in action (either in person or on TV) are Michigan and Auburn.
"Auburn is going to be running a new spread offense and it'll be interesting to see how they do," Burkhead said. "And Michigan has a whole new coaching staff so they are making a lot of changes. I'm really interested in them and hope to get a chance to visit them too."
Burkhead says another reason the Wolverines may make his list is because his older brother (Ryan Burkhead, junior defense end at Harvard) grew up following Michigan. "He's always loved Michigan and he really wants me to go and check them out."
While his brother cheered for Ol' Blue, Burkhead admits he never followed college football. "I was always more of a pro football fan," he said. "I love the Dallas Cowboys and I also like the Detroit Lions because Barry Sanders was my favorite player."
Childhood favorites aside, Burkhead says he does seek his brother's advice. "My brother is helping me out a lot," he said. "He told me that I need to make sure I feel like I can trust the coaches and not choose a school just for football, but academics too. Football doesn't last forever.
"I basically want a place where I fit in the best and that has a good campus atmosphere," he said. "I want to play for coaches that will work me, but that I love playing for."
One thing that Burkhead says doesn't matter is distance or location. "I don't mind being far away and I don't care about the weather."
In fact, Burkhead said he's interested in visiting two West Coast schools as well. "I'm thinking about flying out to visit Stanford and Cal this summer," he said. "I've been talking to coach Jim Harbaugh a lot and I'm definitely considering them. Stanford is one of the top colleges in both academics and athletics.
"I like Cal a lot too," he admitted. "They were one of my first offers and have been after me for a long time (since his sophomore season). They have a great program and a very good coaching staff."
The only spring game that Burkhead had a chance to attend was Nebraska's. "It was crazy," he said. "There was like 80,000 people in the stadium and another 10,000 outside watching the game on the screen in the soccer field. It was just insane."
Another thing that Burkhead likes about the Huskers is their coaching staff. "I met with all the coaches and really liked getting to know them better," he said. "I really think they'll turn things around. Coach Bo Pelini seems like he'd be a good guy to play for. He's really outgoing and a fun dude. He's a great motivator."
New coaching staffs seem to be a recurring theme in the schools that Burkhead is looking at. "I was being recruited by A&M for a long time," he said. "But then all the coaches were fired and I didn't really hear from them. Then finally towards the end of spring they came back into the picture.
"I like A&M a lot," Burkhead said. "It's a big-time program and I love their pro-style offense. I also like their tradition and it's only about two hours away, so I'd have a lot of support if I went there."
He denies any time frame for making a decision, but it definitely won't be before the end of summer. "I'll have my top five by the end of summer," he said. "And maybe make my decision after that. If not, I don't mind waiting until signing day."
Burkhead is ranked as the No. 33 safety in the country by Scout.com, but says that most schools are recruiting him for running back (the position which he played as a junior). "I'm real versatile," he admitted. "But most schools are saying running back or athlete."
As a junior he helped lead his team to a 13-2 record and a spot in the 5A state semifinals where Plano went out to eventual champions Euless Trinity in double-overtime. Burkhead finished the year with 1,769 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns. He also had around 500 yards receiving and three scores.
"I can catch the ball and take hits," he said. "I'm good out of the backfield too and can do anything. I can even punt or play quarterback. I do it all. I'm just a do-anything-type guy and can just open up the offense.
"But I still want to improve my pass blocking skills and make better cuts and reads," he said.
Burkhead says he can bench 320-pounds and squat 500. He also has an impressive 38-inch vertical jump, which has been useful on the hardwood as well. Burkhead plays point guard for his schools basketball team and averages about 16 points per game. He only intends on playing football in college.
He reports a 3.6 core GPA and a 25 ACT.