Signee Spotlight: Morgan Burns
"On signing day, I woke up real early to make sure I faxed in all the stuff I was supposed to," said Morgan Burns. "It was crazy because I was half asleep when I was doing it. It was a snow day. We didn't have the assembly like we planned, but it was held the following day at my high school.
"The student body and all of my friends were there. My head coach talked for awhile and then I talked. I talked about how much I enjoyed my time at Trinity, how blessed I was to have such a supportive student body behind me, and how thankful I was to the coaches for helping me develop my God-given ability."
Burns made All-League at running back and defensive back as a senior for the third straight season. He was also named All-Wichita Metro for the second straight season. He rushed for more than 1,400 yards with 17 touchdowns last fall, and made 60 tackles, six interceptions, and four fumble recoveries.
"Defensively I thought I developed in the secondary by better reads on the quarterback and doing a better job filling the hole," he said. "In previous seasons with my speed I'd tend to overrun plays. This year I'd manned my gaps and made more stops.
"In running the ball, I did better at taking what I could get. I tried to do too much in the past and sometimes would run 50 yards in order to get 10. This year I hit the holes strong using my power with my quickness."
Burns, 5-11, 195, was offered by Colorado State and Kansas State. He says it was a combination of things which landed him in the Wildcat program.
"K-State is only two hours away, and I've got a brother going there," Burns said. "Plus, I've always heard great things about it and what a good opportunity it would be to play football there. Growing up I was always a huge KU basketball fan, so at first I was like ‘I don't know about this'.
"I went on visits to games and liked the people, liked the environment, liked the closeness of the campus in the way it's set up, and fell in love with the place. Joe Bob (Clements), my recruiter, and Coach Bill Snyder have become mentors to me. Joe Bob and I talk on the phone a lot. Coach Snyder and I have had good, long one-on-one conversations where we didn't even talk about football but life, so we've really bonded."
Although part of this year's signing class, Burns accepted a grayshirt and will wait to enroll at Kansas State in January. Burns, a young senior who will turn 18 in May, sees this as a chance to further prepare himself to become college-ready.
"At first I didn't understand it," said Burns of the grayshirt. "I didn't know until about a month ago when they said all of the scholarships were filled. Now I see the pros of it instead of the cons, and I'm comfortable with it.
"I'm going to come back to Wichita and train at my high school and help the football team out. I'm also going to do some things with my youth pastor. I'd like to be a youth pastor, so I'm going to go around with him and get a feel for it. And I may end up taking a few classes at the Community College to get ahead."
Kansas State recruited Burns at safety, but says they may look at him at wide receiver, running back, and cornerback depending on need. As evidenced as an All-League selection on both sides of the ball, and with 4.4 40 speed, there's upside wherever they choose to put Burns.
"In January, I'm going to give it my best," Burns said. "I'm offensively-minded. I'd like to play running back, but I'm not going to be picky. I'll play where they want me to. I want to be one of the hardest workers they have. I'd like to get in early. I'm looking forward to getting to know the guys on the team."
At Trinity Academy, Burns made state champion in the 100m (with a 10.4 personal best), 200m, and 400m. He's also the shooting guard on the basketball team.
A four year starter, Burns wore No. 33 on the Knights football team. In addition to playing both offense and defense, Burns punted for more than 700 yards this season and also had 235 yards in kickoff returns. The closeness he shared with his teammates is what Burns says he'll always remember from his prep career.
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