After high school, Jovon Burriss didn’t play collegiate football right away. In 2017, the year after his sophomore season at Fullerton College, Burris didn’t get to play, either.
Burriss graduated from Seneca Valley HS in Germantown, Md. in 2014, but didn’t have the grades to go to college. He spent the year working small jobs and deferring to religion for guidance.
After some soul-searching, Burriss realized that he wanted better for himself and wanted to do something with his football talents. He started meeting with junior college coaches, seeing who would be able to take him in. Eventually, Fullerton College in Fullerton, Calif. was able to bring him on.
Unfortunately, a shoulder injury kept Burriss out from playing his freshman season, but showed that he was still the hard-hitting defensive back as a sophomore, and currently holds a two-star composite rating by 247sports. That year, Fullerton went on to win a national championship.
In February 2017, Burriss signed his national letter of intent to play football at Florida Atlantic, a late flip in his recruiting process as he was once an Arkansas State commit.
“I was supposed to be there in the summer,” Burriss told MAC Prospectus. “But I had one more class to take, so I had to wait until the fall.”
In that shuffle, he had a hiccup when it came to getting his transcripts approved by FAU. The math class he took his first year at Fullerton was marked as a failing grade while he was battling a shoulder injury. FAU is one of the few schools that recognizes this particular math course, so the grade was a knock against Burriss’ grade point average, he said. Even though Burriss didn’t pass that class, he still took a placement test and tested out of that class before his sophomore season at Fullerton.
“I probably could’ve sat out again another semester in the summer, … but I’m trying to compete for a starting job, learn the system and get with the team,” Burriss said.
Right now, Burriss is back in his hometown with a pair of offers. One from Massachusetts, the other from Buffalo. On January 30, Burriss decommitted from FAU and made his two offers public.
Burriss has a visit with UMass scheduled for January 12 then with Buffalo two days after that.
— Von. (@Verified_Vonn) January 3, 2018
While Burriss isn’t exactly shooting for a local opportunity to play his final two seasons of college ball, he’s definitely open to it. He knows the feeling of playing football and not having family around to enjoy it, too.
“I look forward to it because I want my mom to see me play, I want my grandparents to see me play, I want my dad to see me play … rather than catching me play on TV and on the internet. After the games, my parents are there to give you a hug and tell you you had a good game. That’s the one thing I really missed being in California. A lot players weren’t from around (California). We all just balled out, we’re winning and none of us had any family here,” Burriss said.
In his sophomore season at Fullerton, Burriss racked up 45 total tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.