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From right, Zachary's Sean Burrell and L'Jean McKneely participate in the boys 110 meter hurdles ahead of Scotlandville's Donnell Matthews in the District 4-5A track meet, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at Walker High School in Walker, La.

High school athletes use social media to announce their list of college finalists seemingly every day. Few have the significance of the Wednesday morning Twitter post by Zachary High’s Sean Burrell.

While announcing his list of finalists as a track sprinter/hurdler, Burrell also closed the door on his football career. Burrell said he informed ZHS football coach David Brewerton of the decision to end his football career several days before.

Burrell was a starting cornerback/return specialist on the ZHS football team that won the Class 5A title last fall. He was a backup wide receiver on the 2017 Broncos team that also won a 5A title.

Next up for senior is rehab on an injured ankle, training for the hurdles and sprints and officials visits to a list of finalists that are among the nation’s track and field elite — LSU, Oregon, Texas, Florida and Texas A&M this fall.

“The original plan was to play both football and run track in college. My ankle got rolled when I was covering a receiver in a drill recently. I took some time and thought about what to do. It took several days … about a week of discussing it with my family to make a decision. I’m doing therapy on my ankle now and hope to start training soon.”

Burrell will be posting an updated Tweet on his finalists, because the logo for Tennessee was accidentally inserted in place of the Texas logo.

As a sophomore, Burrell set the 5A/composite record in the 400 meters with a time of 45.88 seconds, which ranked second nationally. He won the 200 in 20.77 seconds, a time that was rated fifth nationally.

Injuries hampered Burrell as a junior. He suffered an ankle injury during ZHS’ semifinal win over Destrehan in December and later had a hamstring injury that kept him on the sidelines during the 2019 indoor track season. There were no record times for Burrell last spring. But he returned to form and was voted Outstanding Boys Performer at the LHSAA’s 5A meet after leading the Broncos to a runner-up finish. He also won Louisiana’s Gatorade Boys Track Athlete of the Year honor.

"We understand and support his decision. I understand it and so does coach Brewerton," said Zachary track coach/assistant football coach Chris Carrier, a former LSU football player. "We held onto to him (Burrell) as a football player for as long as we could. He made the right decision for his future." 

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com