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Rutgers Football gets verbal pledge from efficient DT Malachi Burby

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Defensive line is the toughest position to recruit, and RU’s biggest need in this particular class.

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The Rutgers football coaching staff is working diligently on the recruiting trail during the bye week. The Scarlet Knights secured a verbal commitment from Malachi Burby, a defensive lineman who plays at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. Burby was in attendance for the homecoming game against Northwestern last weekend.

The Berlin, CT native holds offers from eight FBS schools per 247sports, including fellow power five schools Syracuse and Wake Forest. At 6’2” and 270 pounds, Burby is a solid three-star prospect, the 12th best in Connecticut for the 2019 class according to the 247 composite which includes other sources. 247 itself has him as the 8th best player in Connecticut and 72nd best defensive tackle prospect in the country.

I love the pickup because you always need defensive linemen. The defensive tackle position specifically is the most competitive during any recruiting cycle. There just aren’t that many huge 17 year olds who can move well at close to 300 pounds. It’s also nice he has a connection to current Rutgers guard Sam Vretman who came from Sweden to play his high school ball at Cheshire.

The first things that stick out are his size and how many plays he sticks with to register a tackle. Busby does a great job defeating the initial block to get one arm free and “sitting down” in the gap to prevent a running lane. As a result he is also in good position if the play goes away from him and he hustles to chase runs down from behind or get a sack. The term “efficient” sums up his play because there is very little wasted movement and he maintains gap integrity better than Rutgers as a team has done overall in 2018.

Malachi is big and fast for the high school level so he can get away with peeking into the backfield early by standing up too soon and still make plays. He does not possess elite explosiveness or overwhelming strength, but as a such a big, young guy could improve in both areas as he continues to grow. His technique is good, but needs to improve so when he faces bigger, stronger offensive linemen in the Big Ten he is not rendered ineffective. Overall he has no glaring weaknesses which means he is unlikely to be “a bust.”

Malachi is at worst a solid three-star prospect who will compete hard in practice and provide depth like Kenneth Kirksey did in his career. Burby most likely will be able to contribute in the position rotation by his third season like a more highly regarded prospect in Will Previlon. Best case Burby is a difference maker like Ike Holmes early on with the potential to be a star like Sebastian Joseph.

Burby is the first defensive tackle verbally committed to this 2019 class for RU so position coach Corey Brown can breathe a sigh of relief. The twelve total verbal commits thus far each have a 3-star rating in the latest 247 composite rankings. Prior to Malachi’s commitment, the current class was ranked 65th nationally and 12th in the Big Ten per 247 Sports. Look for an update on the current commits in the coming days with the early signing period less than two months away.

Here are some of Burby’s highlights:

Welcome to the banks Malachi!