Graphic Credit: Logan French
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Zachary High School's Sean Burrell, the No. 5 athlete on MileSplit's Class of 2020 recruits, is keeping his talents close to home with his commitment to Louisiana State University.
At 10-years old, Burrell, nicknamed 'The Squirrel' by family and friends, played baseball and if it wasn't for missing a tryout date, track and field might not have even been his main sport.
Enjoying the competition of track and field the most, Burrell is more than happy to sign to LSU in the presence of his family, thankful that he could make them proud.
He was also considering Texas A&M, Texas, Florida and Oregon. The sprinter admitted that all the schools checked off everything he needed, but his thoughts just kept coming back to LSU.
"I'd be up at night thinking about it, which school did this, and all schools pretty much did all the things I checked off, so there was going to have to be some deciding factor," he said. "With LSU, I knew how they were, and I've really been around LSU for the longest, so that was the deciding factor. At the end of the day, I know what I'm getting. I don't really know how it's going to be anywhere else."
Burrell is one of the only athletes in the class of 2020 to run under 46 for 400m. During Burrell's sophomore year, he clocked a 45.74 to win his first LHSAA State Championship in the event. This season, the senior won his fourth and fifth state titles in the 400m (46.52) and 200m (20.79), with US No. 7 and US No. 15 marks.
However, his versatility is what makes him a threat heading into his new journey. Burrell has a 110-meter hurdles state championship from his sophomore season, running 14.04, and placed as the state's runner-up in 2019.
At LSU, Burrell said his main focus would be the 400m and 200 meters, but he'll have the opportunity to venture into the long hurdles. The senior plans on running the 300mH during his final high school season to prepare himself for the 400 meter hurdles.
Burrell was looking for a program that had his major and a place where he felt comfortable with the team and coaches. He also wants a chance to compete for national qualifiers, and potentially, titles.
The LSU Tigers have one of the most dominant sprints and hurdle program histories in collegiate track and field. The men have won 19 relay national championships and have 19 individual sprint and hurdle champions. The program's most recent 400m champion is Olympian Vernon Norwood, who won the indoor and outdoor titles in 2015.
Burrell also knows a couple athletes on the team. Recent transfer Eric Edwards Jr is a high hurdler and current LSU junior sprinter Dorian Camel are among the program's top men's athletes.
Another deciding factor for the sprinter was that he knew he wanted to stay in the south. When Burrell first started the process, that factor led all the rest. He wanted to be close enough to home that if he needed something, his family could be right there.
Looking ahead to his future as a Tiger, Burrell wants to come out the gate swinging.
"My goals for my freshman year at LSU are to go out there and make a name for myself," Burrell said. "Just because I'm fresh out doesn't mean I'm just trying to go to nationals, I'm trying to go win nationals. I know it's going to be good competition out there. I know the coaches are going to train me well to go out there. I'm going to go out there and put the work in, and get top three, if not one in the events I do."