By LARRY VAUGHT
Motivation can come in unusual ways. Just ask four-star offensive lineman Jager Burton of Frederick Douglas High School.
He’s now the top rated prospect in Kentucky in the 2021 recruiting class and has narrowed his college choice to UK, Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and Clemson.
Yet he still remember an eighth-grade history teacher at Lexington Christian Academy who asked him the first day of school what he wanted to be.
“I said I wanted to be a NFL player,” Burton said. “He (the teacher) said set a goal for playing in college and none of you will probably get a scholarship. He said that to Walker’s class, too.”
That is Walker Parks, Burton’s high school teammate who signed with Clemson in December.
“I kind of wish I could see that teacher now and thank him for that doing. It gave me motivation,” Burton said. “People not believing in you gives you more motivation than having people believe. It may not feel as good but it motivates you more. Doubters always fuel the fire when they say I can’t do something.”
Perhaps that’s why Burton made an ambitious list of goals for his high school career when he was still in the eighth grade.
— Get an opportunity to play college football.
— Above 3.4 grade-point average.
— Start three years.
— State champion.
— Sign to a power five college.
“I had a bulletin board in my room and pinned it (the list) to it,” Burton said. “I still have it up there. I look at it still and keep doing what got me to where I am.”
He’s got scholarship offers, is a three-year starter, and earned all-city and all-state honors. He’s got the grades he wanted easily going into his senior year.
So that’s five goals completed. It’s a given he will sign with the power five college of his choice — and he’s said he may be getting close to a decision if COVID-19 continues to delay his chances to make official visits. He had chances to win state titles at LCA in 2017 and Frederick Douglas in 2019 but didn’t. He’s hoping this will be the year he gets a state title and earning All-America honors is not an impossibility.