Fresno State re­ceiver fought for his chance with Raiders

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY AN­THONY GALAVIZ [email protected]­

It has been a long road for for­mer Fresno State wide re­ceiver Brian Burt. He doesn’t mind it if it means get­ting an op­por­tu­nity in the NFL.

Burt, listed at 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds, did well in an Oak­land Raiders try­out and earned a spot at Raiders train­ing camp in Napa be­gin­ning July 26, try­ing to make the 53man ros­ter.

“I’m go­ing to do what I’ve al­ways done and just fight,” he said. “Train­ing camp is just go­ing to be fun. Play football and com­pete and do all the stuff with pads and sep­a­rate the men from the boys. I can­not wait to keep learn­ing from AB (An­to­nio Brown), Tyrell (Wil­liams) and all of the good re­ceivers and just build to­gether.”

The jour­ney started for Burt when he com­peted in football and track and field at East­mont High in East We­natchee, Wash.

He was an all-around track stand­out, com­pet­ing in the 100, 200, high jump, long jump, triple jump and 400 and 1,600 re­lay teams. His speed helped him get a track schol­ar­ship to Lane Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Eu­gene, Ore., where in 2015 he ran the 100 and 400 re­lay.

But Lane didn’t have football and Burt trans­ferred to Mesa Col­lege in Ari­zona, where he be­gan to con­cen­trate on the game. He trans­ferred from there to Ven­tura Col­lege, coached by for­mer Fresno State as­sis­tant/Fresno City Col­lege coach Steve Moosha­gian.

Moosha­gian switched Burt to run­ning back. As a sopho­more, Burt ap­peared in 11 games and rushed 87 times for 563 yards and four touch­downs and added 14 re­cep­tions for 212 yards and a pair of re­ceiv­ing touch­downs.

Burt trans­ferred to Fresno State, switched to re­ceiver and played spar­ingly, ap­pear­ing in one game in 2016 and six last sea­son, with just 24 to­tal yards.

No mat­ter, Moosha­gian said.

“He has a hum­ble chip on his shoul­der,” the coach said. “We gave him an op­por­tu­nity to play tail­back and we would go to the empty sets and he would play re­ceiver. He started evolv­ing as a re­ceiver. There were still some learn­ing curves for him and the fact he was learn­ing a new of­fense was a big thing.”

Burt so­lid­i­fied his po­ten­tial in front of NFL scouts at Fresno State Pro Day.

He ran the 40-yard sprint in 4.31 se­conds. Burt said he didn’t want to give up on football.

“I could’ve eas­ily given up at Fresno State,” he said. “I knew what I wanted to do and this is what God wanted me to do. You get to play football on the big­gest stage. I’m just a fighter. I love football.”

He’ll get an op­por­tu­nity at train­ing camp – in front of TV cam­eras, to boot. “Hard Knocks” is there to film the Raiders for HBO.

On July 23, rook­ies re­port to the team’s train­ing camp fa­cil­ity at the Napa Val­ley Mar­riott. Burt said he’s ready. “I’m a fighter and I’m a grinder,” he said. “I’ve been like that my whole life. I made it this far. I’m blessed and hum­ble and I’m go­ing to keep work­ing and I prom­ise you I’ll be a prob­lem in the NFL”

MATT AGUIRRE Oak­land Raiders

For­mer Fresno State wide re­ceiver Brian Burt makes a catch dur­ing off­sea­son work­outs with the Oak­land Raiders.

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