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November 2, 2012
The honor of being selected as a U.S. Army All-American is not lost on Ryan Burns. The 6-foot-5, 218-pound quarterback from Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge received his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey during a presentation on Friday.
"Obviously this is a huge honor, I wasn't really expecting it," Burns said. "It's truly an honor to be there with all the members of the Army on a national stage."
This U.S. Army All-American is following the path of a past All-American to Stanford, quarterback Andrew Luck. Being selected as a U.S. Army All-American is a key milestone on Burns' journey to emulate one of his idols.
"I've talked to him a few times. I've watched him over the years and really looked up to him," explained Burns. "He's a great guy and I'm going to try to be as good as he was at Stanford. I got to watch one of his practices when I visited there. His leadership and presence is excellent, he was the leader on that squad. In fact, he was leading a players practice when I saw him."
Other than trying to be like Luck, what made Burns want to go to Stanford?
"I've always loved Stanford, it was a dream school of mine," he said. "It's a great campus and the people out there are really amazing."
"I'm not actively recruiting guys to Stanford, but I do talk to (U.S. Army All-American linebacker) Peter Kalambayi," Burns said. "I was also talking a lot with (U.S. Army All-American linebacker) Doug Randolph. It bummed me out when he de-committed, but he's a good guy."
To be able to command an offense like Luck did, it takes a great deal of hard work and dedication. Adjusting from a high school offense to a college system is no easy feat.
"It's always going to be a big transition going from high school to college, mainly because the Wing-T is part of our offense," said Burns. "We have aspects of our offense that are similar to what Stanford is doing."
With the help of his teammate, U.S. Army All-American defensive end Jonathan Allen, Burns has led his team to an undefeated record so far and just blew out another high profile team in Virginia, 42-0. Stone Bridge looks to be one of the favorites for the Virginia State Championship.