By GREG WEBB
The color purple traditionally suggests at least couple of associations — passion and royalty. And while Springtown’s Bryson Burtnett is way too modest, and grounded, to entertain claims of nobility after signing a letter-of-intent to attend and play football for Big-12 member Texas Christian University earlier this week, he unashamedly has plenty of passion regarding the good fortune he has earned.
“The opportunity to be part of this program is very exciting,” Burtnett said. “TCU has always been a favorite of mine, and our whole family. Coach [Gary] Patterson is one of the best, if not the best, college football coaches there is.
“When they offered, I just knew right away that was the place I wanted to be.”
Burtnett also experienced another milestone last week — he attended his final day of prep school, as he opted for early graduation. But he will not be out of classes for long, having already signed up to begin studies at TCU in mid-January. He has yet to decide the area of litigation he will choose vocationally, but will pursue a pre-law degree at Texas Christian.
The physically imposing Burtnett, listed in the Porcupines’ program at 6-4, 225 pounds, was a multi-role player at Springtown. At tight end, he was one of the more prolific weapons in the Pojo offense, and has received annual kudos for his performance at defensive end. As a senior, he was named First Team defense of District 6-3A, with the same designation on the All-Parker County football roster. Bryson was also a special-teams principle, handling long-snap duties, a vital part of punt team success.
“Right now, [TCU] has me designated for tight end and long snapper,” he said. “I guess I may miss the defensive side of the ball some, but I have always been of the mind that I’m OK where ever I get to play.
“Just as long as I have the chance to be on the field, I’m happy.”
While the prospect of attending while playing for a university long-admired takes care of the lion’s share of Burtnett’s best-laid plans, the fact that the distance from home-to-school is less than 30 miles is icing on the dream cake.
“It’s awesome, and one of the main benefits of getting to attend TCU, that it’s so close to home,” Burtnett said. “When you come from a small town, where everyone knows everyone else, and [the community] is so family-oriented, it really gave TCU a big advantage over a lot of the other schools I was considering.
“That was a very important thing to me.”
With the TCU scheme being similar to Pojo’s offense, Bryson also credits his Springtown learning experience on the field with good preparation for playing at the next level.
“Coach Turner has always made sure we know our own assignments, as well as our teammates ,” he said, “so that we realize the importance of doing our job to help the guy next to you be successful, as well.”
Modesty notwithstanding, Burtnett concedes some pride in being a part of the Big 12, and looking forward to more TCU accomplishments in the prestigious conference.