Jordan Jenkins has graduated. Leonard Floyd is out the door. Lorenzo Carter is ticking the days away until the 2017 NFL Draft …and then he may decide to test his possibilities as well. Point being: Georgia has lost, and will soon lose a few more, some excellent edge-rushing, and it’s time to address what will soon become a glaring need on defense.
Enter Brian Burns.
Before his exodus, Jeremy Pruitt made progress with Burns. He sold the Florida-native on becoming the next “Leonard Floyd” of Georgia’s defense. Now that Kirby Smart has entered the picture, the approach is different, but the message is the same: come play for us and do big things.
Burns hears the message. He’s heard it from day one …but is he really listening to it?
Can Georgia pull him out of the Sunshine State and into Peachy Territory?
Maybe …maybe not.
At this point, Burns would be the icing on the cake of a potentially stellar 2016 defensive class. But, you can bet Florida’s exodus of defensive talent will offer plenty of the same opportunities for Burns to make a quick name for himself without having to travel nearly as far to get it done.
Even more than the threat of the Gators, though, is the presence of Florida State. The Seminoles are still players in this as well, and they have the honor of Burns’s final official.
The Bulldogs have the first.
Of course, you can look at that situation in one of two ways: either Georgia will blow Burns away so soundly that both Florida schools will have to play catch-up just to overcome the deficit Georgia creates, or Florida State will leave enough of an impression to make Burns feel like he should stay home to play.
Either way, Burns has a decision to make, and it sounds to me like he’s going to make it based on the players he’ll be sharing the field with as much as the coaching staff:
UGASports: You visited for Dawg Night last summer. What did you like about the town? What did you think of the campus?
Burns: “People I know from Heritage, Sony [Michel] and Isaiah [McKenzie], they told me a lot about it, about the team, how they bond. I just got a good vibe from everybody that was there.”
UGASports: What does it mean to have people at Georgia you are familiar with?
Burns: “It means a lot. We’re from the same place. We act alike. They came in and as soon as they got there made an impact on the team. That just lets me know it’s possible for me to do the same thing.”
UGASports: What’s the main thing you want to see in this next visit to Georgia?
Burns: “I just want to bond with the team. My time with the team, I want to talk to them, go out with them and see what it’s like with the team itself and see if it’s family or a bunch of individuals.” (Anthony Dasher, UGASports.com)
If I have to throw a guess out there, I’d say he’ll stay in the state of Florida. He just sounds like a kid who is a bit hesitant to venture too far from home. And, lets face it, Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie stand to be here a season or two longer, and then they’ll be gone too. Burns sounds like a prospect that really wants to feel comfortable with his surroundings and he’s comfortable in Florida.
I can respect the sentiment.
Even so, I’d love to see him in the red and black, but if he winds up playing for those Gators, then I look forward to the battles he’ll face with Big Ben (Cleveland) over the next 3-4 years.
— Rusty Mansell (@Mansell247) January 5, 2016