American Heritage defensive end Brian Burns left a lot of Florida State fans in suspense in recent days.
As it turns out the Seminoles had nothing to worry about.
Burns, a U.S. Army All-American, made it official he was headed to Tallahassee Wednesday morning, signing with the Seminoles during Heritage’s National Signing Day festivities.
“It was a real tough decision and I took some deep thought into it talking with my parents,” Burns said. “When I took my official visit I really felt like it was home for me.”
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Burns was one of 10 football signees for Heritage Wednesday and 27 athletes overall in nine sports that inked letters of intent with colleges.
Burns sat at the edge of a long table with his teammates and set FSU and Georgia caps in front of his spot. Burns didn’t waste any time though immediately grabbing the FSU hat and putting it on.
He and his family then broke out into a Seminole war chant as others in the crowd joined in.
Burns considered Georgia and Alabama as well, and said Mark Richt’s departure from Georgia to the University of Miami didn’t play a huge role in his choice to join the Seminoles.
“By Monday night, I knew where I was going,” Burns said. “I was stressing the whole day. After Monday, my mom shut it all down for me on social media everything. I’m happy where I am now.”
Burns, a 6-4, 210-pound defensive end, had over 25 FBS school offers – several of which were from SEC schools including the University of Florida. He posted 16 sacks and over 60 tackles for an American Heritage squad that advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs this season a year after winning back-to-back state championships.
Burns highlighted American Heritage’s talented group of signees as he was one of six that signed with FBS schools.
Tight end Nick Eubanks became one of the many talented additions from South Florida to the University of Michigan’s 2016 class. Eubanks (6-6, 230-pounds) committed to the Wolverines on Jan. 28 following a visit to Ann Arbor. Eubanks, who also had visited Alabama and Florida last month, finished his senior season with 23 catches for 344 yards and three touchdowns.
“It’s a tight end takeover,” Eubanks said. “They’ve got amazing tight end up there at Michigan so why not join this great class. I believe in the next three years we can make a run for a national championship.”
Wide receiver Brandon Johnson, the son of former longtime Marlins catcher Charles Johnson, never wavered on his commitment to the University of Tennessee despite offers from other SEC schools including LSU and Georgia. Johnson caught 20 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns this past season.
Florida Atlantic swooped in and picked up two key members of the Patriots defense as linebackers Bradley Clement and Jacob Pino each signed with the Owls. Clement had been committed to FAU since last year in May.
Running back Khalil Herbert, who ran for 861 yards and nine touchdowns this past season, signed with Kansas University as expected. Herbert committed to the Jayhawks on Jan. 23 following an official visit.
Heritage had two players sign with Ivy League schools as kicker Oren Milstein signed with Columbia University and offensive lineman Christian Riffle signed with Cornell.
Also for Heritage, defensive lineman DeCarlo Hamilton signed with Liberty University, and defensive back Jarius Stuart signed with Hastings.
American Heritage also had 17 athletes from eight other sports sign Wednesday.
There were four baseball players Michael Cortelli (Amhurst), Taylor D'Agostino (Christopher Newport), Gary Mattis (FAU) and Kyle Carter (Bates College), two softball players, Madison Canby (Columbia), Melissa Rini (Caldwell), two golfers, Tyler Strafaci (Georgia Tech), Maria Merchan (USF), two swimmers, Julien Pinon (Auburn), Audrey Mason (Chicago), three soccer players, Dejah Cason (UM), Alexandra Soree (UCF), Dara Magdaleno (American) and two basketball players, James Love (Kansas State) and Hayley Duren (Pepperdine).
Tennis player Zack Ebenfeld signed with RPI and lacrosse player Jarett Alfero signed with Rutgers.