Will freshman QB Ryan Burns start for Stanford in 2013?

By Gil Alcaraz IV
Stanford Helmet
Courtesy of WritingIllini.com

With National Signing Day all but over, the Stanford Cardinal can say with certainty that they made the necessary acquisitions to maintain their standing among the PAC-12’s elite teams this upcoming season. Of their 2013 signees, none is more intriguing than Stone Bridge quarterback Ryan Burns.

Measuring in at 6’5’’, 218 pounds, Burns has the prototypical size and all of the physical tools to be an elite quarterback at the college level. The Virginia product excelled in his high school’s spread offense during his senior year, amassing 2,784 passing yards and 28 touchdowns while leading Stone Bridge to the Virginia AAA Division 5 title game.

According to Rivals.com, Burns is the No. 6 quarterback in the 2013 class. He’s the first quarterback recruit for the Cardinal since David Shaw took over as head coach. Considering that the program has had a plethora of recent success in wooing elite gunslingers, I don’t expect the case to be any different for Burns. Whether or not he’ll take over immediately, though, is anything but a foregone conclusion.

Although senior Josh Nunes started off the 2012 campaign as the Stanford starting quarterback, freshman Kevin Hogan eventually took over and carried the Cardinal through the rest of the season. Hogan completed 109 of his 152 passes for 1,096 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions. By season’s end, he had asserted his presence as the Stanford offensive leader and helped pave the way to a Rose Bowl victory.

At this point, surpassing Hogan on the depth chart is going to be quite the challenge for Burns. The incoming freshman will likely take over as the No. 2 quarterback unless Hogan either gets hurt or struggles early. It’ll be interesting to see if Burns can gain ground and begin nipping at his heals during spring practices, though. There’s no denying that he has the talent to take over sooner or later; the only question is when.

Burns might not be the next Andrew Luck or John Elway, but he’s a promising young passer who has Stanford excited about the future of their football program. Just don’t expect him to see the field much in 2013.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Network Manager/NFL featured columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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