Blaine Burkhalter worked for this day for a long time. The Burnet Bulldogs receiver signed his National Letter of Intent to play football for Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, on February 5.
“From the time he showed up at Burnet Middle School, he was committed to playing college football,” said high school head football coach Jerod Rye. “This is a realization of a commitment made a long time ago. We couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Actually, Burkhalter said, it’s been far longer. He began dreaming of playing college football while on a youth team in Leander in the fourth grade.
“It’s amazing,” he said during the signing ceremony at the high school. “I never knew it was like this. It feels amazing.”
Burkhalter is constantly working on his game. He plays 7-on-7 for the Juice team, works with a speed coach, and is a regular in the weight room.
“On my own, (I’m working out) as much as I can,” he said. “Football is always first.”
When a Saint Anselm College rep contacted Rye to inquire about seniors interested in playing college football, he told them about Burkhalter. After watching film and asking more questions, it was clear to Burkhalter and Rye that Saint Anselm was serious about bringing him to New Hampshire.
Burkhalter made an official visit in mid-January.
“They showed him the most love and the most interest,” Rye said.
As Burkhalter toured the campus and met the players, he saw a family, and that left a huge impression.
“The football team seemed close, like a brotherhood,” he said. “All the coaches gave me true love, more than any other school.”
The son of Erin and Danny Burkhalter is leaning toward a kinesiology major and a sports management minor.
“I want to stay in sports my whole life,” he said. “Shoutout to my family and parents. I wouldn’t be here without them. My mom does a lot for me.”
Rye believes Burkhalter will be successful on the next level.
“Blaine is as talented as any kid I’ve ever coached,” he said. “He’s going to go up there and be a great asset to them.”