University of Miami cornerback Artie Burns did what he knew he had to do.
On Monday, Burns announced that he will forgo his senior season at the University of Miami to enter the NFL Draft.
Burns’ mother, Dana Smith, died in late October, leaving him with custody of his two younger brothers. He also has a 1-year-old son.
Burns finished the season with an ACC-leading six interceptions and is considered the most NFL-ready player of the Hurricanes considering entering the NFL Draft – including receiver Stacy Coley, linebacker Al-Quadin Muhammad and cornerback Corn Elder.
In a letter Burns wrote and was emailed by his aunt to the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel and the University of Miami, Burns said he wanted to give “GOD the glory and a special thanks to my teammates, coach Al Golden and coach Mark Richt, the UM coaching staff, the University of Miami and all the Canes Fans.
“I can't put into words what these past three years have meant to me in my development as a football player but even more importantly as a man. It is only right to acknowledge that and I thank you all.
“After considering all the options, and looking into my future, I feel it is in my best interest to forgo my senior year and declare for the NFL Draft.
“This was a long and extremely difficult decision to make.
“Due to m y mom sudden passing and my father being incarcerated, I now have custody of my two younger brothers and my son to raise. It is my responsibility to be the financial supporter my family needs to continue our day to day lives.
“Also, playing in the National Football League has always been a dream of mine and I believe the time to pursue this dream is now, I feel I’m mentally and physically ready. Now that the time has come for me to take the next step in my journey, I will come back to complete my degree from this prestigious University.
“Once again I want to Thank my family for all the support. I want to thank all the professors, advisors, trainers, and coaches for everything they have done for me.
My teammates, I love you all, you guys are my brothers. We have accomplished so much, I’ll always cherish those moments with you.
“And finally to each one of you unbelievable fans that back us each and every day, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me during my time at The University of Miami. You guys truly made my college experience one to remember.
“I will ALWAYS BE A CANE 4 LIFE!!! and continue to root and support whenever I can. Because its ALL ABOUT THE “U”.
Also on Monday, CanesInSight.com reported, per sources, that Larry Scott is expected to be retained on UM's staff.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN