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August 4, 2009

Devin Burns discusses Maryland commitment

Devin Burns has never been one to panic, either on the football field or off.

So when the Columbus (Ga.) Carver quarterback was told his scholarship to Georgia had been rescinded on the day he intended to commit to the Bulldogs, he deftly sidestepped any added pressure over this very public breakup and quietly moved on.

Moving on meant giving Maryland -- a school that always intrigued Burns -- a closer look. Over the weekend, Burns and his family visited College Park. Before driving back to Georgia, the 6-foot-2, 175-pounder committed to the Terps.

“When they first started recruiting me, I liked them from the beginning,” Burns said. “I always had them in mind as a place I liked. ... So it feels good for me to be done with the recruiting process. Maryland was the best choice for me, and I love the school.”

Burns led Carver to an 11-3 record and the Georgia AAA semifinals as a junior. He threw for 736 yards and eight touchdowns on 55 of 85 passing, while rushing for 363 yards and two scores on 68 carries.

If there’s anything Burns has demonstrated to Carver coach Dell McGee, it’s that he has a short memory and isn’t easily flustered. That applies to Burns on the football field, but he also exhibited similar qualities with regard to the Georgia situation.

“Whenever something bad happens, he’s always that steady force on the field,” McGee said. “He doesn’t get down and doesn’t get rattled. And he keeps his composure very well. That happens often on the football field. At the quarterback position, you need a person to be like that. He exemplifies those qualities.”

As a true freshman, Burns will join classmate Tyler Smith, plus Jamarr Robinson, C.J. Brown and Danny O’Brien in the battle to replace Chris Turner at quarterback. Burns said the Terps coaches like his dual-threat ability.

“They like the fact that I can throw the ball; I’ve got a strong arm and [I’m] accurate,” Burns said. “They also like the fact that I can run just as good as I can throw the ball. If the play breaks down, I can [take off running].”

McGee starred at cornerback for Auburn before spending time with the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions, in addition to stints in NFL Europe, the Arena Football League and the XFL. Having played against the best, McGee knows what it takes to succeed at the college level. McGee thinks Burns has the necessary qualities a major college quarterback needs.

“I think he’s going to definitely have a chance to play early at Maryland,” McGee said. “His learning curve, learning the offense and things of that sort are probably the biggest determining factors on how soon he plays, and of course competition. He’s going to play college football, so you’re going to have competition, especially at that level. But he reacts well to competition, so I think he’ll be a huge boost to Maryland as an athlete on and off the field.”

Burns represents Carver in a similar manner, according to McGee. Education is important to him, and his “great attitude” is constantly on display.

“He’s probably one of the best dressed kids I’ve seen,” McGee said with a laugh. “[He wears a] collared shirt everyday -- business type of attire. He’s just a classy kid. He comes from a great family background and great family stability. You can see that family’s very important to him.”

Burns’ father is a military man, so the family has lived in Georgia, Hawaii, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. The trip to Maryland impressed every family member.

“It’s a great location,” Burns said. “You’re right near Washington D.C. With all the business out there, it’s a great opportunity to get a job. It’s a great place to be successful.”

Burns, who plans to major in business marketing, has high standards for success. But they’re standards he intends to meet upon arrival in College Park.

“I’m a hard worker,” Burns said. “I’m going to try to help Maryland to an ACC championship and possibly a national championship.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:13 AM | | Comments (2)


Matt -- Seems like we have a number of viable candidates at QB for '09 and '10. What are the odds that Burns winds up playing another position early on? Has that been discussed?

Wayne -- Burns was recruited as a QB and he'll have a chance to battle. But he's obviously a good enough athlete that he can switch to WR or DB if that doesn't work out. He's a pretty versatile guy, but he'll start at QB and go from there.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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Area high school commitments -- 2009
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Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
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