22 Days to Miami football: RB Robert Burns short yardage asset

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Redshirt junior running back Robert Burns provides depth, experience and a tough short-yardage runner for the Miami football team in 2020.

Robert Burns brings experience and a tough short-yardage runner to a running back unit to the Miami football program that is only four deep in scholarship players entering the 2020 season. Burns and junior Cam Harris are the only returning scholarship RBs for the Hurricanes in 2020.

Burns ran for 116 yards on 29 carries and added two receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown in 2019. On a Miami football team that was often hindered by injuries at RB last season, Burns stepped in and performed when needed. At 5’11, 225 pounds, Burns is a tough inside runner that will provide Miami with a change of pace.

Six of Burns 29 carries in 2019 went for first downs. Burns played in 12 of the 13 Miami football games in 2019 and in eight as a redshirt freshman in 2020. The bulk of Burns’ playing time came in the loss to Duke. With DeeJay Dallas lost for the season and Cam Harris injured against the Blue Devils, Burns was the only healthy Miami RB.

In a 27-17 loss, Burns carried 18 times for 48 yards and caught two passes for another 21 and a TD. He was valiant when called upon as the only healthy Miami RB. In 2020, Burns is projected to be the fourth-team RB behind freshmen Jaylan Knighton and Don Chaney Jr. Burns has shown he can handle the workload.

Although his yards per carry against Duke was less than desirable, Burns ran four times for 31 yards the week prior, in the loss to FIU. As an RB adding depth to the roster and contributor on special teams, Burns is a valuable asset for new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and the Miami football program.

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As the Hurricanes prepare for 2020, Burns can be a leader on the offense as a fourth-year player and mentor to Chaney and Knighton. In the new offense, Burns can emerge as an occasional presence running the football. Miami ran 24 times for 47 yards with third down and 1-3 yards to go in 2019. Burns can help improve that.