BRADENTON, Fla. — Brian Burns wore a red UGA bracelet out of the bus Saturday night after his team knocked off a loaded IMG program which had been rated the No. 2 team in the nation by USA Today on Saturday night. That bracelet never leaves his wrist.
“I wear it every day,” the major 4-star defensive end target said.
Burns was part of a stout American Heritage defensive front that defused a high-powered IMG offense to come away with a 19-7 victory.
Yet — even to UGA fans — there was something even more interesting about his wardrobe than that. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior wore his size-15 dress shoes and dress socks out of the locker room.
“That’s the only thing I have with me to wear,” he said.
Burns buried his grandfather at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The funeral lasted until 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and he hoped into a car in his church clothes and drove some 225 miles from the Fort Lauderdale area to Bradenton to face the nation’s No. 2 team.
He said he hadn’t slept well for the last couple of weeks because his grandfather had been in declining health.
“On behalf of my family and everybody I did it for my grandfather,” Burns said.
He also played for his teammates.
“I had to play because I had to come through for my brothers,” Burns said. “This is my family. Without them I don’t know where I would be. Without football I don’t know where I would be.”
His grandfather’s name was Gary Allen Burns. He was always at Brian’s games and they often watched football together on television,
Watch the video above. Burns was very emotional after the victory. If you have a heart, it will make you feel a little bit better about the world for what Burns was able to experience on Saturday after such a heart-wrenching day.
Burns also told the AJC about where he stands with UGA and what the coaching staff did to let him know that his family was on their minds.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.