Aberdeen receiver hoping hard work pays off

BY BRANDON SPECK
DAILY JOURNAL

Sammie Burroughs has the hands, the speed and the tools to play wide receiver past high school. The Aberdeen senior even has the pedigree – Sammie, Sr. played linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts.

So what does he need to work on?

“Growing, getting taller,” Aberdeen coach Mark Bray said, then laughed. “He’s so balanced. He’s got great speed, quickness, got great hands. You don’t hardly ever see him drop a pass.”

Burroughs is getting the looks, just not the scholarship offers. His size may be what’s getting in the way. But Bray says his 5-foot-9, 175 pounds shouldn’t be a halting point.

“He’s very talented, runs direct routes, can do everything you’re looking for in a high school receiver, or defensive back,” Bray said. “It surprises me that he doesn’t have an offer.”
all in the family

Burroughs says he doesn’t feel like there is pressure from being the son of a former professional, that it’s more helpful. Sammie, Sr. offers his guidance in the proper settings, but is also an Aberdeen assistant coach.

“I treat him like a coach. In practice or games, he’s a coach, not my dad,” the younger Burroughs said, “just like any other coach.”

Burroughs has made his 40-yard dash time a priority and it paid off at Mississippi State’s Big Dawg Camp, where he ran a 4.40, his fastest time.

He has camped in Starkville, Louisiana-Lafayette, UAB, Top 150 and Nike. Colleges see him as a receiver. He’ll play both sides again this season.

Bray says he has it together on the field and in class. He’s also a key component of the Aberdeen basketball team.

“He’s worked extremely hard to get to the point he’s at,” Bray said. “He’s not one of those guys who sits back and works off his natural talent.”

Burroughs caught 26 passes for 656 yards and nine touchdowns last season. His 25 yards-per-catch average flashed his breakaway speed.

“I’m just waiting, hoping I’ll get an offer,” Burroughs said. “I want to see this hard work pay off. Overnights, mornings, weekends, I’ve put it in.”

brandon.speck@journalinc.com