In 2017, John Burt will only showcase his speed on the football field.
Burt has left the Texas track and field team, the university confirmed on Tuesday. Burt’s name no longer appears on the Longhorns’ track and field roster, and he did not participate in this past weekend’s opener for the indoor season.
A Texas spokesperson told the American-Statesman that Burt left the track team to focus more on his role as a 6-foot-3-inch receiver on the football team. Burt turned 28 catches into 457 yards and two touchdowns during his freshman year, but he was plagued by injuries and dropped passes this past season. He ended his sophomore season with 18 receptions and a touchdown.
Burt will still be one of the offensive assets inherited by new coach Tom Herman, and nine of Texas’ top 10 pass catchers from 2016 are expected to return this fall. However, Burt’s departure from the track is a blow to that section of the athletic department.
At last year’s championship meet for the Big 12’s outdoor season, Burt was timed at 13.98 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles. That time was bested by only Texas Tech senior Chris Caldwell (13.82 seconds). With that silver showing, Burt contributed eight points to a Texas team that beat Kansas for the Big 12 title by 18 points.
Burt, who also finished in sixth place in the 60-meter hurdles at the Big 12’s 2016 indoor meet, told the American-Statesman last year that he was modeling his college career after Marquise Goodwin, who once shined at Texas as a receiver and multi-event participant in track. For now, though, Burt will only be attempting to match Goodwin’s efforts in one of those sports.
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