Joe Burton is a Cowboy.
Burton, who signed with Oklahoma State back in November, has cleared the final academic hurdles of a rigorous summer and will be eligible to play for the Cowboys this season. Burton first told GoPokes.com of his intentions to drive to Stillwater Wednesday night. A source close to the program confirmed his eligibility and anticipated arrival to The Oklahoman on Thursday.
Burton’s availablity had been a hot topic all summer, as he scrambled to make up academic work in order to gain eligibility. At one point, program insiders considered it a “long shot” that he’d make it. Burton, however, kept pushing.
“I had to take a couple of classes online and then had to go through the NCAA process, and then wait for it to get reviewed,” he told GoPokes.com, “get stuff graded and get stuff on my current transcript. I’ve just been waiting on that.”
The wait is over.
And while Burton has more catching up to do — both academically at OSU and with a Cowboys squad that’s been playing together since the summer — his addition is a major boost to the roster.
A four-star prospect, the 6-foot-7 Burton averaged 22.5 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior at Atascocita High School, leading his team to an undefeated season and Texas Region II championship.
Known as a superb shooter, Burton will add length and scoring options to a Cowboys team replacing Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Kamari Murphy.
“I’m going to have to work probably three times as hard as they are,” Burton said of his teammates. “I’m going to have to come in the morning before class, after classes, at night, trying to get myself in the shape that they’re in.
“I need to get my body ready for the college level.”