Season recap: Devin Burns
There were plenty of big plays that Carver (Ga.) High quarterback Devin Burns made during his senior season.
But for Tigers coach Dell McGee, one moment involving the Maryland commitment stood out above the rest.
“There was a fourth-and-1 in the first round of the playoffs with the score tied at 21-21,” McGee said. “We called a QB sneak and he picked the right hole and went 72 yards to ice the game. It was a huge play. But he had several big plays. That probably had the biggest impact and meant the most because of the [circumstances].”
Burns guided Carver to an 11-2 record and the third round of the Georgia Class AAA playoffs. On the season, Burns was 123 of 179 for 1,795 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 541 yards and five touchdowns on 76 carries.
While Burns’ 72-yard touchdown run may have been the most memorable moment of his senior year, it certainly wasn’t the only time he orchestrated a big play.
“He made things happen,” McGee said. “We had a great running back that’s going to be a senior. In that regard, we had a couple playmakers back there in the backfield. But when things broke down protection wise, he was able to make plays with his feet as well as his arm. He does a good job of continuing to look down the field and throw the ball.”
Carver was a young team this season, with just Burns, the Tigers’ right tackle and their center as senior starters. McGee counted on Burns to show his young teammates how to win. Burns’ leadership was “definitely big for the team,” McGee said.
“He’s the kind of guy you want in adverse situations because he’s not going to get rattled and he keeps his composure real well,” McGee said. “That’s what you need in a leader. When things are going bad and things are heated, he doesn’t bend or break. He stays even-keeled with everything and he accepts coaching during those times.”
In Burns’ two years as Carver’s starter, McGee saw a quarterback who improved his arm strength and worked hard to better understand the Tigers’ offensive concepts. When Burns enrolls at Maryland later this month, McGee expects his quarterback to demonstrate a similarly impressive work ethic.
“[Enrolling early] will give him the best possible opportunity to learn, get the coverages and the philosophy down, the protection calls -- all the little things he's going to have to definitely pick up,” McGee said. “There’s always a difficult transition from high school to college. Just getting acclimated to that early will give him the opportunity to learn on and off the field. He’s very, very mature for his age and he’s going to step up to the challenge.”