University of Miami cornerback Artie Burns has a new home.READ MORE: Body of Miami Teen Who Went Missing After a Run Found near Marina
The Hurricanes 2015 interceptions leader was selected 25th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night.
Burns, a physical 6-foot, 197-pound corner with elite athleticism and speed, is the first cornerback that the Steelers have selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in nearly two decades. Pittsburgh drafted safety Troy Polamalu in 2003.
A Miami native, playing his high school ball at Miami Northwestern before going the University of Miami, Burns quickly became a fan favorite in Coral Gables with his physical play and knack for making a big play.
Tragedy struck Burns and his family this past October when his mother – Dana Smith – suffered a heart attack and passed away. It was then no surprise that Burns, who has two younger siblings, decided to cash in on his solid play in 2015 and forgo his senior season of eligibility and declared for the draft.READ MORE: Hundreds Of Motorcycle Riders Ride From Doral To Key Largo For Good Causes
Burns, an All-American record-setting hurdler in high school, was praised by NFL scouts for his natural physical tools but they also said that Burns would have to refine his technique to truly capitalize on his potential.
A story was released on TMZ just hours before the draft, with a celebrity jeweler claiming that Burns spent in excess of $41,000 on various items prior to the draft. Burns’ agent, Melvin Bratton – a University of Miami alum – came out and said that while Burns did purchase jewelry; it was not Thursday and it did not total $41,000.
Bratton discredited the report and said Burns spent “$5,000, if that much”.
Still, the report didn’t have any effect on Burns’ draft status as Pittsburgh wasted little time announcing that it was taking him with the 25th pick.MORE NEWS: COVID In Florida: 2,482 New Cases, 22 Additional Deaths Reported Sunday
The Steelers have had a recent run of taking University of Miami players. The team took linebacker Sean Spence in the third round in 2012 and they used a sixth-round pick this past year on former Canes defensive end Anthony Chickillo.