RECRUITING: A.J. Burton details shoulder surgery, recovery ahead of signing day

One of Iowa State’s five offensive line commitments to the 2024 recruiting class recently underwent shoulder surgery.

A.J. Burton, a 6-foot-5 290-pounder, had dislocated his shoulder three times during his senior season at Cherry Creek High School in Colorado. He played through the pain.

“I dislocated my shoulders three times during the season and played through it,” Burton said. “Then I had a Laterjet procedure, which basically they just went in and cleaned everything up and whatever. It’s similar to a labrum repair, kind of like that.”

Burton said his shoulder is feeling “pretty good,” and is set to enroll early in Ames with access to Iowa State’s training staff and winter workouts.

“My biggest thing is that I’m just excited to learn the schemes and learn a lot about the offense,” Burton said. “And then (I’ll) work with the strength coaches, trainers and everyone just to get rehab from the shoulder and come back ready to go for spring ball.”

Burton is rated as the No. 8 prospect out of Colorado by 247 Sports.

He chose Iowa State over Colorado, Colorado State, Indiana, Washington State, and Charlotte, and is ready to make the jump into college football.

“It feels really good,” Burton said. “I’ve known I was going to come early and be an early enrollee for a minute, but it’s pretty nerve wracking. The fact that it’s all here and like, it’s happening, I feel kind of ready. I feel like I’m finally making that jump from being a high school kid going to college and so that’s been really nice actually.”

The Colorado prospect watched every game Iowa State’s played in, and is especially excited to work with offensive line coach Ryan Clanton, who will enter his second year in Ames in 2024.

“Oh, it’s been amazing and especially watching the season and watching the jump from each game, how the offensive line progressed from where they started this season to where they ended up – it was really nice,” Burton said. “Just talking with (Clanton) and seeing how he just changed around the culture in the O-line room has been great. We’re really excited to be a part of that.”

He’ll join a group of five scholarship offensive linemen as well as new preferred walk-on that committed on Monday when he arrives in Ames.

“The young core of this team is so exciting to know like, that’s gonna be my future,” Burton said. “And I really feel like Iowa State has a genuinely bright future, especially with all the commits coming in this class and especially at the offensive line position. That’s going to be the future of the team.