2013 Virginia Football Roster Profile: Rob Burns

Nov 10, 2012; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers tight end Rob Burns (92) celebrates on the field after the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Scott Stadium. The Virginia Cavaliers won 41-40. - Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Today marks 75 days until kickoff, and since UVA does not currently have a #75, we're looking at one of the guys we missed by starting late. Sophomore Rob Burns moved from DE to TE during last year's fall camp, partially due to a lack of depth at TE and partially due to an influx of talent at DE. Burns looked good at his new position this spring.

Position: TE
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 230
Hometown: Ashburn, Va
High School: Stone Bridge HS

Rob Burns was a skinny DE in HS who was recruited by most of the ACC as well as Stanford, Rutgers and Penn State. He was rated a 3-star recruit by all the recruiting services and was ranked 58th among DEs by Scout and 80th by ESPN. Burns also saw some time at TE in High School, so while the possibility existed that he would move, he was recruited solely as a DE.

The problem with him at DE is that he's too slight. He hasn't really been able to put on much weight, meaning he would be lining up against OTs with massive size advantages. He also has outstanding speed for a guy with his size, running a 4.7ish 40. His height could be a weapon, especially in the red zone or on short yardage. There aren't very many DBs (or LBs) who are going to be able to get up with him.

As a blocker, Burns has a ways to go. The same weight issue that would stop him from being a successful DE could also stop him from being a good blocking TE. Combine that with the lack of experience, and it's a good thing we have a couple of TEs ahead of Burns on the roster. While neither Jake McGee nor Zachary Swanson are great blockers, they at least have a few years of experience.

Burns will likely see some time around the goalline, where he scored a TD in the spring game (roughly the 1:30 mark). His height makes him a possible jump ball target (although both McGee and Swanson are also tall). We aren't likely to use very many 3 TE sets, but Swanson has seen some time as an H-back, which could open up some playing time for Burns as a second TE. McGee may see time split out, which again opens up some playing time for an extra TE. Burns is also likely to see extensive time on special teams.

For a team that has long been known as "Tight End U", and is famous for moving players to the TE position (Heath Miller as well as Jake Mcgee), Burns is another along those same lines. He has the talent and physical ability to be a very good TE, just needs to gain the experience and technique to handle the more physical aspects of the position, such as blocking and getting a release off the line.

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