Two more local high school football standouts have decided the University of Akron is the college for them.
Garfield junior Marcus Kidd and Coventry junior Dusty Burkhart have orally committed to play football at UA for coach Terry Bowden, who can not comment on a player until February when seniors sign their national letter of intent.
Bowden and his staff have emphasized the importance of recruiting area players, and Kidd and Burkhart are the most recent examples of this.
Kidd, 17, is a 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive and defensive lineman for Rams coach Bob Sax. Kidd said the Zips recruited him to play offensive tackle.
“I think this is a great opportunity to play for my home team,” Kidd said. “I want to help make them a better team. I am just blessed to have this offer.”
Burkhart, 17, is a 6-2, 190-pound wide receiver and defensive back for Comets coach Ed Egan. Burkhart said the Zips recruited him to play wide receiver.
“I felt like U of A is the best place for me because their coaches made me feel like I was wanted,” Burkhart said. “They have a good environment and they really believe in me as an athlete. I felt a lot of trust within the program.”
Burkhart said he has attended multiple UA football games, and feels that the program is “on the rise” after an 8-5 record in the 2015 season that included a 20-0 win over visiting Kent State on Nov. 27 and a 23-21 victory over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 22 in Boise, Idaho.
“I have followed the renovations and all the buildings that have gone up,” said Burkhart, who plans to major in construction management. “It is a really nice campus and real intriguing to be around.”
Burkhart, who has a 3.4 grade-point average, has earned nine varsity letters — three apiece in football, basketball and track and field. He is a guard in the winter and competes in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 400 relay in the spring.
Kidd, who has lettered in football and track and field in the shot put and discus throw, said he saw the Zips football team play last year and likes what the campus has to offer. He has a 3.5 grade-point average and plans to major in business and pursue a career in physical therapy.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.