BYU Football: Meet Ryder Burton, the Cougars’ newest quarterback

Chat for a few minutes with Ryder Burton, the up-and-coming senior quarterback at Springville High, a BYU football commitment, and one aspect of the recent trial becomes clear.

Few prospects in the history of BYU football are as committed to the Cougars and head coach Kalani Sitake’s program as this guy. Burton will officially sign with BYU in December when the early signing period for members of the Class of 2023 begins, but he’s as solid as any recruit in recent times.

This child knows the meaning of the word obligation.

“I am very committed to BYU and I stand behind this program and what it offers 100%,” Burton told the Deseret News Wednesday, hours after attending one of Sitake’s summer camps for high schoolers in Provo.

“Anytime there’s a guy with a BYU offer that BYU is interested in, you can guarantee I’ll get in touch. You can ask anyone. I will be the first person to text this guy after he gets it. … So I’m doing everything I can to give BYU a shot at the Big 12 title here in the near future.” — BYU signs Ryder Burton

A few hours later, Burton received discouraging news. Though he shone at an Elite 11 Regional in Los Angeles last weekend and earned a “top rating” at camp for the country’s top prep QBs, the 6-foot-112182-pound Burton was not among the 20 QBs invited to the 23rd annual Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles later that month.

Billing itself as the most prestigious quarterback competition for prep quarterbacks in the country, the Elite 11 is led by former NFL QB Trent Dilfer and many other notables. Alumni include Tim Tebow, Matthew Stafford, Trevor Lawrence, Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Stanford’s Tanner McKee, BYU’s Sol-Jay Maiava and former Cougars’ QB Tanner Mangum.

Before Wednesday night’s final five selections were made and announced on Twitter, Burton was evaluating his odds based on what some coaches told him when the Regionalliga ended last weekend and also because he had one at the Combine drills 85.89, which put him in ninth place among the Los Angeles contestants.

“Nevertheless, it was a great experience,” he said.

BYU’s fourth signing from Class of 2023 — he joins Stanley Raass, Emmanuel Waller and Pokaiaua Haunga — said he’s not at his best in the region but doesn’t regret how it turned out.

“To be honest, I feel like I could have done a lot better,” he said. “The day before, our high school team had the ute shoot (7v7 passing tournament), so I probably threw close to 250 balls there, and my arm wasn’t doing what it can.

“For example, I couldn’t push the ball as far as possible, throw it with so much speed. I feel like I can throw a lot better than before,” he continued. “I was happy to see my name in the top 10. It’s cool to see your name in the top 10. But I think there’s no doubt that I can definitely do better and that I can perform with these top 20 guys.”

Burton’s other takeaway from the regional league is that the attacking run at Springville not only prepared him well for the summer camp circuit, but also for playing at BYU.

“In Springville, we’re probably under center 75% of the time,” he said. “All these other kids play shotguns all the time in the widespread crimes of Southern California, Arizona and Las Vegas. So it was funny when the other kids were like, “Dude, how can you do that so easily?” I would say, ‘I do this every day.’”

Springville coach Dave Valeti said the program is “fortunate” to have Burton, a leader on and off the field.

“Our offense is a perfect prep school for BYU,” Valeti said. “Under centre, play action, similar attacking style.”

247sports.com’s Greg Biggins said Burton, a three-star nominee, was “among the most consistent players” at the four-hour session in Los Angeles.

Burton went “although each repeat looked comfortable at game speed and (looked) in multidrop format,” Biggins wrote. “Burton didn’t blitz the strongest arm, but he was accurate and precise with his timing and often hit receivers in the crotch at all levels.”

Burton led the Red Devils to last fall’s League 5A football state championship game, throwing a famous touchdown pass to Walker Deede when time was up to beat Orem 27-26 in the semifinals. He received an offer from BYU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick in April and signed on May 6.

It was his first offer, but Burton had attracted interest from Utah, Weber State and southern Utah, among others. Like former BYU QB Zach Wilson (also an Elite 11 Regional competitor) and current Cougars QB Jaren Hall, Burton has spent significant time working with former BYU QB John Beck and his 3DQB Elite quarterback training camp.

“BYU is a perfect fit for me – the system, the offense, everything,” he said. “The culture of how I want things to go is there. The whole coaching staff is just really dedicated, but they understand the players, they treat the players with respect and it’s at home. That’s where I want to be.”

Burton said he will graduate high school in December and enroll at BYU in January so he can attend spring camp in 2023. He plans to play four straight seasons for the Cougars.

“I’ll be the only 17-year-old on the roster when I come to BYU,” he said.

Like former five-star QB Jake Heaps more than a decade ago after committing to BYU the summer before his senior season, Burton is already recruiting other prospects for BYU.

“Anytime there’s a guy with a BYU offer that BYU is interested in, you can guarantee I’ll get in touch. You can ask anyone,” he said. “I’ll be the first person to text this guy after he gets it. It’s a quarterback’s job to be a leader. It’s a quarterback’s job to build the team. So I’m doing everything I can to give BYU a shot at the Big 12 title here in the near future.”

Before leaving for Los Angeles, Burton stopped by campus to chat with the four four-star recruits who were visiting last weekend — tight ends Walker Lyons and Jackson Bowers, defensive end Hunter Clegg and offensive lineman Ethan Thomason .

“I think the Cougars could land all four, 100%. Two of the guys, I’d be shocked if they went anywhere else,” Burton said, without naming names. “And then there were two guys who seemed very positive about BYU but still wanted to see what else they had.”

Burton said he will send the rest of the summer to attend more camps — like the Under Armor Next series — and hang out at BYU as much as possible, maybe even attend quarterback meetings with Roderick and the other coaches, ” to rack your brains as much as possible – just grasp the offense so I can go into my high school and drop out and then come in January and be ready to fight for the job.

merlin_2894889.jpg

Springville High School QB Ryder Burton throws the ball during the 5A Football State semifinal game against Orem High School at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

Leave a Comment