University of Miami

After Artie Burns was drafted Thursday, more Miami Hurricanes hoped to hear their names called

Artie Burns, center, a cornerback from Miami, poses for a photo with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, left, and President Arthur J. Rooney II as he holds a team jersey with his name on it after a news conference where he was introduced as the first round pick of the team and 25th overall in the NFL 2016 football draft, Friday, April 29, 2016 in Pittsburgh.
Artie Burns, center, a cornerback from Miami, poses for a photo with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, left, and President Arthur J. Rooney II as he holds a team jersey with his name on it after a news conference where he was introduced as the first round pick of the team and 25th overall in the NFL 2016 football draft, Friday, April 29, 2016 in Pittsburgh. AP

The University of Miami had its moment of glory Thursday night.

Friday night — at least through the second round of the NFL Draft — was not nearly as memorable.

The day after Hurricanes cornerback Artie Burns was chosen 25th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round, no Hurricanes were chosen through round two, with the third round continuing late Friday.

The final day of the NFL Draft begins with round four at noon Saturday and will continue until the last player in round seven — known as “Mr. Irrelevant” — is chosen.

Late Friday afternoon, UM safety Deon Bush, the only other Hurricane who was widely expected to be drafted, spoke to the Miami Herald, saying he was “hanging out at home” in Miami and would be watching the draft with “close family’’ members.

Bush has been projected to be selected anywhere from the third round to last.

“Obviously, I want to go as early as possible,” Bush, 22, said. “Nobody really knows what’s going to happen. Basically, it’s a lot of people throwing around their opinions. I’m not looking at projections. The longer I wait, the more fuel it adds to the fire. I’ll show the other teams what they passed up.”

The 6-0, 199-pound Bush had 50 tackles, a sack, two fumble recoveries, six pass breakups and an interception last season season.

“A lot of teams have shown interest,” Bush said, adding that he worked out with about nine of them. “I’ll just be here waiting. If it’s Friday, good. If it’s Saturday, good. I just want the opportunity to show people what I can do.”

Among the other Hurricanes hoping to hear their names called are cornerback Tracy Howard and linebacker Tyriq McCord.

“Basically, I’m with my family chillin,” Howard said Friday. “I’m being patient. I don’t really have any expectations. I know I’m going to end up somewhere, and wherever I end up, I’m going to make the best of it.”

Said McCord, who on Friday afternoon was with his family in Tampa: “I’m very excited — prepared for everything. I’m just ready to get to work.”

Other Canes who hope to get drafted include receivers Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters, defensive linemen Ufomba Kamalu and Calvin Heurtelou and running back/safety Dallas Crawford.

As for Burns, he flew to Pittsburgh early Friday and was set to meet the fans Saturday before flying back to Miami on Sunday to celebrate his 21st birthday with his family.

“It’s crazy to be drafted to a great organization, a great family,” Burns said Saturday in Pittsburgh. “As soon as I got off the plane all I saw was black and yellow. It’s great to get that kind of support from the fans, from the city.

“We want the fans out there standing on their feet.”

Burns’ grandmother Barbara Cason — the mother of his late mom Dana Smith — told the Herald on Friday how “exciting, happy and emotional’’ the moment was when her grandson’s name was called. “But it was also bittersweet because my daughter wasn’t there. She was there in spirit.”

John Cason, Burns’ grandfather, said that “when they called his named, it was beautiful. All I could do was put my hands up to the sky and say, ‘Dana, we did it!’”

Former Hurricane fullback Melvin Bratton, Burns’ agent, said that on Thursday night, with Burns and his family and friends gathered in a room at the Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, a T-shirt decorated with photos of Dana Smith hung over an easel.

“Mr. Cason put a dozen pink roses for Dana near there,” Bratton said, “and after Artie was picked, Artie just stood over the T-shirt and kept rubbing it. He must have stared at it for five minutes.”

Burns’ four-year rookie contract deal will pay him a maximum of $9,590,983, with a signing bonus maximum of $5,175,260, according to Joel Corry, a former agent who writes about NFL contracts and salary caps for cbssports.com.

The Steelers announced he’ll wear No. 25 his rookie year.

“They’re getting a kid whose ceiling is untapped,” Bratton said. “This is a dream come true for him.”

Said Bush: “I was so proud of Artie, and I know Miss Dana, she’s really proud right now. After everything he went through, Artie pulled through...

“He deserves it all.”

  Comments