Up Close: Kendric Burney, Part I

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - With written scholarship offers in hand from major Division I institutions, for both baseball and football, Tyrone Burney chose instead to go to work to support his soon-to-be-born son.

Tyrone doesn't hold it against any of his three children, but Kendric Burney has forever been inspired to take advantage of an opportunity his father couldn't.

"My dad was a whole lot better than me in football," the 2006 UNC commitment said. "I have God-given talent, but I've had to work hard at it growing up as a kid.

"It's not so much I feel I owe my parents; I just feel like I should go the extra mile for them. They didn't get to fulfill the goals that I have a chance to."

Burney says he will play both baseball and football during his first year at Carolina.

"If I hadn't been offered in football; I was coming to UNC on a baseball scholarship," he said.

Burney hopes to attend a three-day camp at UNC with teammate Dekota Marshall this month, but said he may not be able to due to his participation in a summer baseball league and then a tournament in July. However, Burney makes frequent visits to Chapel Hill.

"I like going to Franklin Street," he said.

Burney says is in contact with the UNC football staff on a weekly basis.

Burney led the Stallions football team to a 15-1 record and a second consecutive NCHSAA 2-A championship, defeating Shelby, 49-21. He was named the title game's MVP while playing quarterback and defensive back.

At quarterback, Burney passed for 654 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing for 934 yards and 17 scores.

He said he expects to play either cornerback or safety at UNC.

"We haven't really talked much about expectations. They just tell me to go ahead and win another state championship and keep working hard.

"I'm trying to get quicker with my feet."

Originally, the Tar Heels' coaching staff had hoped to plug Burney in at cornerback. However, in the last few weeks things have seemed to go in a different direction.

Although his 5-foot-9 height could be an issue, Burney may be a better fit at safety on the collegiate level. His inexperience in man-coverage showed during one-on-one passing drills at the Shrine Bowl practice, but while in zone coverage Burney worked well in space and seemed to have a knack for reading the offense.

"In talking to Coach [Brad] Lawing, he's talking about cover corner, but they are thinking about moving me to a safety position – that's what they've been talking about the last couple of weeks," Burney said. "That would be fine with me. They've also talked about punt returner."

Yet, at least for now, baseball is at the forefront of Burney's mind. He's Southwest's leading pitcher, plays outfield and hits both for power and average. Burney also owns an AAU national championship in baseball.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow…

Kendric Burney Profile

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