Grayshirting - Morgan Burns

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's recruiting class of 2012 will consist of a number of grayshirts who delayed their college enrollment until the second semester in mid-January. Morgan Burns took a grayshirt and will join the 'Cats in 2012.

Grayshirting is a common practice often used in Division I football to ensures a place for recruits in the immediate future. One of the players "waiting in the wings" is Morgan Burns out of Trinity Academy in Wichita, Kansas. Burns has been staying busy in his hometown and taking in some Wildcat football this fall.

"I've gone to most of the home games," said Morgan Burns. "I'm excited and encouraged from what I've seen. The team was picked low in the Big 12 during the pre-season, but not only have they done well in the conference they're ranked high in the BCS standings."

In his third year since returning as Kansas State head coach, Bill Snyder has the Wildcats at 7-1 overall, 4-1 in conference and No. 14 in the BCS standings. Burns believes he knows the reasons behind the unexpected success.

"It's surprising to me how well they've done," Burns said, "but it's a tribute to the hard work they've put in, the leadership provided by guys like Collin Klein, and Coach Snyder keeping them humble. Last week's (Oklahoma) game was a tough loss, but it's still been a great season."

In February, Burns became the first athlete at his high school to sign a Division 1 scholarship for football. He had an extraordinary career with the Knights. As a senior Burns rushed for more than 1,300 yards, scored 18 touchdowns, and had five interceptions. Waiting to enroll in college has given him a chance to give back to the program as an assistant coach.

"I've been working with the football team at my high school," said Burns. "I haven't just been sitting at home doing nothing. Since graduation I've been disciplined in the weight room and kept myself in good shape. I'm about to start track workouts. I'd feel pretty good going into spring practice at 200 (pounds). I'm 198 now, so I just need to maintain where I'm at."

Burns was a track star at Trinity Academy. In his senior year he won Kansas 4A in the 100, 200, and 400 at Cessna Stadium in Wichita. His time in the 100 was a meet record. While Kansas State recruited Burns as a safety, he certainly has all of the qualifications to play running back in the Big 12.

"I really don't have in expectations," Burns said of next year's spring practice. "I don't know where I'll be on the depth chart. The coaches will decide that. I'm going to work hard, give my best, and see what happens in the end."

There are approximately 130 miles between Wichita and Manhattan. Burns enjoys making the trip as often as he can and hopes to catch at least one of the Wildcats two remaining home games.

"Most likely I'll be at the Texas A&M game on the 12th," Burns said. "When I go to the games I get to be on the sidelines before the game. Some of the other freshmen will come over to talk. Before the summer I was supposed to be rooming with Ian Seau. Coming in late I'm not sure if that has changed or not. I'll just be happy to be there."

Being a grayshirt has provided Burns the chance to see his younger brother, Tyler, in action. Through nine games Tyler Burns has rushed for 879 yards and 16 touchdowns as a freshman at Trinity Academy. He wears his older brother's number (33) for the Knights.


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