Up Close: Kendric Burney, Part II

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --- As Kendric Burney walked onto the field for the Shrine Bowl invitation practice, he said he felt a little lighter. Burney's commitment to the Tar Heels back in May lifted a huge weight off his 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame.

Click here for Part I which ran yesterday.

"It feels good," said Burney. "I don't have to worry about the hassle of phone calls, and when I talk to the [North] Carolina people I can express how I feel now."

Burney is a versatile athlete that can play a variety of positions on the football field. He has a school-record 16 career interceptions going into his senior year.

Last year's 2A state championship may have gained him his most football notoriety; of course Burney is an outstanding baseball player as well.

Playing as a quarterback and cornerback for the repeat champions, Burney accounted for 146 total yards and three touchdowns on offense, had 22 more on a kickoff return and added eight tackles and a fumble recovery on defense en route to winning the game's Most Valuable Player award and attention from colleges.

"He's the best I've had," said Southwest Onslow head coach Phil Padgett. "Just to put him into the proper category of athletes we've had, we've had two play in the NFL, two or three more in arena football, one in Europe and he's the best I've ever coached."

Despite his pledge, Clemson and N.C. State have continued to recruit Burney, whose offer list also includes Virginia Tech, Clemson, East Carolina and Duke.

But he assures UNC fans that his commitment is solid. In the meantime, he is still working to convince cross-town buddy Deunta Williams to join him in Chapel Hill.

"He visited Carolina this weekend and he absolutely loved it," Burney said. "I talked with him about it on the way home and he just told me how it was a great place up there. He was up there for a school function and he was telling me how all the coaches came and talked to him. He said Coach [John] Bunting came over and talked to him and he just fell in love with it.

"And I told him how I absolutely loved it, so hopefully he'll be committing pretty soon."

Burney's teammate, Dekota Marshall, is also a UNC prospect and is planning to attend camp at UNC next week.

Kendric Burney Profile

(Don Callahan contributed to this article.)

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