The night of Nov. 18 was complex for Putnam City North lineman Daniel Burton.
As he and his family — longtime Oklahoma State football fans — watched the Cowboys' game at Iowa State, Burton was pulling for the Pokes to keep their national championship hopes alive.
But as the fourth quarter wore on, and Iowa State's upset bid continued to gain steam, Burton's true allegiance showed through.
“I had to turn around and pull for the Cyclones,” said Burton, who verbally committed to Iowa State in October. “That was a big win for the program. I was really excited, because that's where I'll be next year. I was pretty pumped up.”
Burton, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound tackle, anchored Putnam City North's offensive line as a three-year starter, and he's looking forward to the opportunity of helping an Iowa State program that appears to be making significant strides.
“I think the program's definitely on the rise,” Burton said. “Every place that recruits you tells you that their program is looking to make a major turnaround. But you can really see it at Iowa State this year with all the praise Paul Rhoads is getting.
“I don't know if they'll ever see a national championship, but they're definitely not the stepchild of the Big 12 anymore.”
Over the last several weeks, Rhoads' name was being mentioned in connection with several of the high-profile college football jobs that came open, most recently at Pittsburgh when Todd Graham left for Arizona State.