Burns A Strong Commitment

The University of Pittsburgh discovered what Wilmington Area (Pa.) High School's opponents new all last season, and that led to an early scholarship offer from the Panthers to running back Chris Burns.

Other schools are expected to follow suit, but Chris Burns didn't give them a chance. He made a verbal commitment to Pitt and is expected to honor it.

"My family is very happy with the decision I made, because it'll be easier to come to watch me play,'' Burns said. "I always wanted to go to Ohio State. That would've been pretty cool, but it's more than three hours away, and Pitt's pretty close. So, we're very happy with my decision.

"Pitt was always among my top choices, and when they offered I was glad to commit. I'm not sorry I did that, because now I can just focus on my senior season, school, being with my teammates and everything else. I don't have to worry about anything else now. I can just focus on my senior year.''

Burns rambled for more than 1,500 rushing yards as a junior and showed why he was so successful during several combines. He has consistently run the 40-yard dash in some 4.4 seconds and the three-cone run in about 4.1. He also has a 36-inch vertical jump.

"I just think that these combines are great for everyone,'' Burns said. "You get a chance to compete against the best players in the area and how you match up, and that's the main reason I come here. I'm looking forward to showing what I can do and what I'm made of to those who don't know.''

Burns noted that Toledo was expected to give him a scholarship offer and maybe others would come as well, but he mostly wanted to finish out the track and field season. Burns competes in the 100, 200, 4x100 relay and the long jump for Wilmington. His top 100-meter time was 11.36 seconds. He added a 22.95-second 200 and long jumped 20 feet, 10.25 inches.

This versatility is most evident in Burns' highlight video available for viewing on PantherDigest.com. Burns shows his speed, balanced, toughness and willingness to score all in one amazing play. And he calmly explained how he reached the end zone despite being hit in the backfield and again just before the goal line, as defenders converged.

"I pride myself on having real good vision and very good balance, and that's what helps me on each play. I also try to work hard to get every extra yard I can get,'' Burns said. "So, vision and balance are my two biggest assets.

"I also have a strong willingness to score, and I definitely don't want to go down. You can't let one guy bring you down, so that's how I run. I try to score on every play, and I go hard on every snap. It's the only way to play.''

And it's those qualities that have endeared him to Pitt.

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