Cornerback Artie Burns, out of Northwestern High School in Miami, Fla., has signed his letter of intent to attend Miami and play for coach Al Golden. Burns has been committed to the Hurricanes since last July, and took a visit on Jan. 18 to confirm his choice. The 'Canes had to battle with many of the nation's top programs to keep Burns at home, as he is one of the biggest and most athletic defensive backs in 2013.
Burns chose Miami over offers from Alabama, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, USC, and West Virginia. The cornerback originally committed to Nick Saban's staff at Alabama, but re-opened his recruiting when he de-committed in May of 2012. He will likely find it easier to get on the field in Miami, as the Crimson Tide are stacked with talent on the defensive side of the ball.
The Hurricanes will be getting a consensus 4-star prospect and a composite top 100 recruit in Burns, according to the rankings at 247 Sports. Scout pegs him as the 17th-best cornerback in the 2013 class, while ESPN and Rivals rank him 10th and 15th positionally. The evaluators at 247 Sports think the highest of Burns, slotting him as the ninth-best cornerback and No. 52 overall.
Golden's staff will have some work to do with Burns, as he is still raw. He doesn't appear to have sound tackling form, and typically relies on using his closing speed to lower his shoulder in an attempt to knock the ballcarrier over. That works in high school, but he'll quickly find that it won't on the Division 1 level, especially since he is still in track shape and lacks the bulk that would allow him to hit with enough force.
He's certainly worth teaching though, with 4.5 speed at his 6'1 height, he has the potential to match up with any receiver one-on-one. If he is able to improve his coverage and tackling skills, rather than just relying on his athleticism, he will be an excellent cover corner for the 'Canes.
Vitals: 6'1, 190, 4.5 40-yard dash
Other offers: Alabama, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, USC, and West Virginia
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