A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile a player who has switched to wide receiver from quarterback.
Devin Burns, Freshman (RS), Wide Receiver
Ratings: Three stars by Rivals; three stars, #56 wide receiver by Scout; three stars, #75 athlete by ESPN
40-yard dash time: 4.49
High School Stats (Senior Year): 123-179 for 1,795 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions, 76 carries for 541 yards rushing and five touchdowns
High School Stats (Junior Year): 763 yards passing and eight touchdowns, 363 yards rushing and two touchdowns
High School: Carver High School (Columbus, Ga.)
How’d He Get To College Park?
In terms of rankings by recruiting agencies, Devin Burns was about in the middle of the pack of Maryland’s 2010 recruiting class. Even at his own position, he was overshadowed by Tyler Smith, who recently transferred to Elon. But when former coach Ralph Friedgen spoke about Burns on signing day last year, you could see his face light up at the prospect of coaching this young kid.
There was a bit of an issue in his recruitment – Burns was originally going to commit to Georgia. However, the day he was intending to commit to the Bulldogs, he found out his scholarship offer had been rescinded. He then committed to the Terps, and this so harmed the relationship between the Georgia staff and Carver (Carver’s head coach said he would never send another kid to Georgia) that they re-offered Burns later in the process. The quarterback stayed true to his commitment to the Terps.
Burns comes from a military family, which should fit in with new coach Randy Edsall’s coaching philosophy, and Maryland marks the seventh different state he has lived in. He was named honorable mention all-league after his senior year, and chose the Terps over offers from Arkansas and others. He was recruited to Maryland by offensive line coach and Georgia recruiting specialist Tom Brattan.
Burns enrolled early at Maryland last year, getting a leg-up on Smith in the true freshman quarterback competition. He almost got a chance to play, too, as C.J. Brown, Danny O’Brien and Jamarr Robinson all suffered from various injuries. Luckily, Burns didn’t have to burn his redshirt. He switched positions to wide receiver during this past spring, leaving Maryland with only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.
For what it’s worth, Burns did play wide receiver as a sophomore in Texas.
More after the jump.
Devin “Montgomery” Burns. An homage to both the Simpsons and Montgomery County, Ga., where he is not from.
Not having to burn his redshirt last year.
Being stuck in the same position as two of the best receiver recruits Maryland has gotten in recent memory.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Former quarterbacks who made great wide receivers:
1. Anquan Boldin
2. Hines Ward
3. Gene Washington
4. Freddie Solomon
5. Antwaan Randle El
Burns catches at least ten passes as he seamlessly transitions to his new position.
Adrian Coxson overtakes him as the backup to Kevin Dorsey.
Devin Burns is currently co-backup to Kevin Dorsey at the WR-X position with Adrian Coxson, which makes up a very interesting pair. Dorsey is the unquestioned starter at the position – Maryland fans have the highest expectations of him out of any of the receivers. But with Coxson and Burns, you’ve got two very different players.
While both came to Maryland after complications with an SEC school and both played quarterback in high school, Burns came into College Park as a quarterback while pretty much everyone knew Coxson would end up as a receiver in college. Coxson came into the program with significantly more hype, but Burns has been with the program longer.
Regardless, Burns proved himself to be quite the playmaker in high school, and with some open space can be dangerous. We don’t know how his hands are, but he’s definitely got speed and running ability.
Who knows, maybe we’ll see some trickeration with Gary Crowton? Some Randle El-style wide receiver passes? Certainly would make things interesting.
For now, however, Burns won’t likely get much playing time this season, between Dorsey and Coxson (our favorite to win out the battle). We’ll see how much time he sees on the field in this upcoming year.
Our next player stars as a punt returner.
Follow this writer on Twitter @Pete_Volk.