Burton has been as impressive as any receiver in UK's preseason drills. He's outplayed returning receivers Glenn Holt and Chris Bernard. He's been able to practice daily, something highly touted freshman speedster John Logan couldn't do because of an injury.
With Cook out at least for the first two games after having surgery to remove a bone spur on his ankle and Derek Abney practicing for the first time in two weeks Monday because of a hamstring injury, it has been Burton making the most consistent impression in practice.
"We've seen nothing but great things out of him," Brooks said Monday. "He's going to be a huge factor for us as a true freshman."
Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen mentioned Burton before any other receiver when he was asked who might compensate for the loss of Cook after Cook's surgery.
Danville coach Sam Harp got to watch film of Burton when he was preparing for Danville's game last week against Manual. He was amazed at some of the athletic things he saw Burton doing on the game film and knew then that Burton was far better than he imagined.
Burton was as impressive as any player, including Mr. Football Michael Bush, on the Kentucky all-star roster in June. His play in the win over Tennessee was superb at both receiver and cornerback.
He will back up Abney, an All-American, on both punt and kickoff returns against Louisville.
Sunday's game has to be special for him. Manual is within a stone's throw of the Louisville campus, but former Louisville coach John L. Smith paid little attention to Burton. That lack of attention from the hometown team burns deep inside Burton even if he says little about the slight.
"I don't ever want Louisville to come in here and beat me on my home field," Burton said. "I don't ever want that to happen."
Obviously Burton has a lot to learn. Most freshmen receivers are redshirted, as was Abney his first year. They either are not physically ready to play or have too much trouble learning the offense. Burton is one of those exceptions and while he may once have been an unknown to many of us, his rise no longer is a surprise.