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HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
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Burns grows with KSU

Published on -8/22/2014, 9:57 AM

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By ARNE GREEN

Special to The Hays Daily News

MANHATTAN - For every step forward in Morgan Burns' Kansas State football career, he's had to take several steps back.

Literally.

As a standout running back and state champion sprinter at TrinityAcademy in Wichita, Burns went full speed ahead and few, if any, could keep up. But when he switched to defensive back at K-State, it abruptly threw his thought process into reverse.

"I spent a big part of my life running forward, and now backpedaling is a big change," said Burns, a junior, who, after two years of learning the ropes, is finally ready to claim a starting job at cornerback. "I think backpedaling and just keeping my eyes in the right position and seeing the field and knowing the defense is huge for me."

In high school, where he rushed for 2,700 yards his last two seasons on offense, Burns also was a safety on defense. But it scarcely prepared him for the intricacies of playing cornerback at the Division I level.

"You don't really realize how technical corner is," Burns said. "I played safety, but at my high school there really wasn't much technique to it.

"I just kind of did whatever and roamed the field."

While serving his apprenticeship at corner, Burns excelled on special teams for the Wildcats and he remains a candidate to join All-American Tyler Lockett on kickoff returns. The next step is becoming a full-time defensive player.

"Coming here to K-State and starting from scratch, I really had to learn a lot," Burns said. "It's cool because I was under a lot of great corners and (safeties) Ty Zimmerman and Dante Barnett, who are great leaders in the defensive secondary."

Zimmerman, a four-year standout, is gone, leaving just Barnett and nickelback Randall Evans as returning starters in the secondary. That not only left Burns battling for a starting job, but also taking a leadership role with a crew of inexperienced corners.

"It's been interesting because I haven't had a lot of playing time," Burns said. "I've always been a backup and played a lot of special teams.

"Now I have to step up and provide leadership in that area where I haven't really had a lot of time on the field. It's a great opportunity, I'm excited for it and I really have to rise to the occasion."

Defensive coordinator Tom Hayes, who also works with the defensive backs, expressed confidence in Burns.

"He's been in our program a long time, has done well on special team and is a fast guy," Hayes said. "But he needed time to mature and I think he's doing a nice job.

"He's a team leader for sure and he's an unbelievable worker in the offseason."

Burns clearly is much more polished now as well.

"Two years ago we always said, 'Morgan Burns, you've got the speed,' but he didn't have that cornerback mentality because he was a running back in high school," said Evans, a three-year starter at nickelback. "Now he knows what a receiver does and he's not just using speed.

"He's using his smarts now. His IQ has gone up a lot at the cornerback."

Burns calls it a natural progression.

"I've had some time on the field and coach Hayes is a great coach," he said. "He has a lot of experience and he's coached me well.

"I feel comfortable with what I'm doing now. I don't have to think and hesitate as much."

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