University of Miami junior cornerback Artie Burns announced in a letter Monday that he will forgo his senior season to declare for the NFL Draft.
Burns, a Miami Northwestern High product, led the Atlantic Coast Conference with six interceptions, ranking fifth nationally. His six interceptions were the most by a UM player since Sean Taylor had 10 in 2003. He had 36 tackles and five pass breakups this season. Burns’ mother, Dana Smith, died in late October, and he was expected to turn pro.
“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,’’ Burns wrote in a letter to former coach Al Golden, new coach Mark Richt, his other coaches, UM and its fans. “It is only right to acknowledge that, and I thank you all.”
“…This was a long and extremely difficult decision to make. Due to my mom’s 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 of 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 will come back to complete my degree…’’
Burns concluded by thanking everyone in his life “from the bottom of my heart for supporting me… You guys truly made my college experience one to remember.’’