SE: Morgan Burns Enjoying NFL Draft Prep
Morgan Burns may not know what his future in football holds, but he’s having fun getting there.
Since his days on the field with the Wildcats, the former K-State defensive back and 2015 Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year has been spending his time training for the 2016 NFL Draft.
Though he didn’t get an invite to this year’s NFL Combine, Burns impressed scouts from 20 NFL teams at K-State’s Pro Day earlier this month.
“The main thing I wanted to do was just have fun,” Burns said after the Pro Day workouts. “Not too many people get to do what I just did, so I’m having fun with it, enjoying it and doing the best I can. I think with that attitude I performed really well. I’m happy with what I did.”
Calm, cool and enjoying every moment, Burns impressed all at Pro Day as he recorded a 4.38 unofficial time in his first 40-yard dash and followed that performance with an even more impressive 4.34 in his second go.
“I kind of had a goal to break 4.3, but that’s extremely difficult,” he explained, “but as long as I hit the 4.3’s, I was going to be happy either way.”
However, his exciting Pro Day performance didn’t stop with his speed. Burns also knocked out 21 reps on the bench press.
“I think a lot of guys stress out about Pro Day; they can’t sleep because of it. So I went into this just wanting to have fun,” he continued. “After all the drills, a few guys said I ran good, and that my drills went well. I got some good feedback after everything was over.”
In addition to earning Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year honors in 2015, Burns also topped off his K-State career by earning First Team All-America and First Team All-Big 12 accolades as a kick returner. One of the fastest players at K-State during his four years with the program, Burns made kickoff-return history his senior season as he broke the school record for single-season kickoff-return yards with 1,138. He also tied the school’s career record for kickoff-return touchdowns with four, ranks second in school history in career average (30.8) and third in school history in career yards (1,572).
According to NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports, Burns is a potential fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. His speed and talent in the return game is difficult to overlook. After official Pro Day activities concluded, scouts wanted to see more of Burns’ kickoff-return skills and had him run a few extra returns.
And, of course, with the hard work ethic engrained in his mind after spending four years with the Wildcat football program, Burns took each return the extra mile.
“I was catching some kicks and running like 40 yards down the field, and they told me, ‘Hey dude, just run like 15 or 20 yards!’ I said, ‘Sorry man, that’s just how I was taught to practice,’” Burns said as he let out a laugh.
His time at K-State prepared him for anything that lies ahead.
“I think (K-State football) definitely helped me to work hard. We were going through the drills extremely fast, but I didn’t mind. They were trying to get us out of breath, but that’s what I’m used to: working hard and running, running running.”
Burns graduated from K-State with a degree in communication studies in December and is currently living and working out in Manhattan as he waits to find out what his future holds.
“I’ve been able to focus on some things I wasn’t able to focus on when I was in season with the team, more speed workouts,” he said. “I never had a problem with conditioning, so now I’m just working on speed, change of direction, stuff like that.”