VAUGHT: Burton in "blessed situation"

Keenan Burton figures no matter what happens in the next few months, he's in a "blessed situation" knowing he can test his draft status with the National Football League or come back to Kentucky for his senior season.

"I am at a position where I can choose to stay and come back, or go to the NFL. Not a lot of people have that opportunity. It is a blessed situation," Burton said. "At the same time, I will take care of being a Kentucky Wildcat.

"The question is not whether I am coming back, because I will always be a Kentucky Wildcat. The question is whether I am leaving or not. Right now, it is about school, about Kentucky and winning this bowl game."

That means he intends to take care of his academic work not only this week, but when the second semester begins so that if he decides staying at UK is the best option for him, he'll face no academic problems.

"You have to take care of No. 1 first and No. 1 is school. No. 2 is athletics. Sometimes No. 1 is athletics, but it is all about Kentucky with me," he said.

Burton admits the whole "NFL scenario" is a little mind-boggling even to him considering he went into this season needing to prove he could stay healthy for an entire year.

"If you had asked me in August if I might consider leaving early for the NFL, I would probably have looked at you like you were crazy," he smiled and said. "At the same time, I have a lot of confidence in myself. I have so many things that I need to improve on. Throughout the season I felt like I kept improving and our coaches kept putting me in great positions. Andre (Woodson) was just on target all year. I would have looked at you like you were half crazy, though, in August until we had seen all that went on this year." And who will he rely on after UK faces Clemson in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl to help him evaluate his draft status?

"I will rely on coach Brooks, coach Sanders, coach Phillips, my father, my mother, my brother, everybody. It is a tough decision and I am just blessed to have so many people in my corner that understand it is tough for me and understand that they shouldn't pressure me and will let me make my own decision," Burton said. "It is just a blessing to be in this position and have to make that decision, but at the same time I am going to stay grounded and do all I need to do at Kentucky because that is most important thing to take care of first. Right now nothing matters more to me than winning this bowl game. That's my first, and only, priority right now."


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