Kansas State University

Former K-Stater Morgan Burns retires from football to pursue career in ministry

K-State defensive back Morgan Burns returns kick off for 65 yards last November.
K-State defensive back Morgan Burns returns kick off for 65 yards last November. The Wichita Eagle

Morgan Burns’ professional football career ended Tuesday before it truly got started.

Burns, a former standout at Kansas State and Wichita’s Trinity Academy, has decided to retire from football and pursue a career in ministry.

An undrafted rookie, Burns was a member of the Tennessee Titans and appeared set to compete for a roster spot during preseason practices and games. But the Titans placed Burns on the reserve/retired list Tuesday, 11 days after signing him.

His agent, Brandon Smart, told the Associated Press that Burns appreciated the opportunity given to him by the Titans. Nonetheless, he prefers a future in ministry.

Burns played cornerback and returned kicks for the Wildcats. As a senior, he returned four kickoffs for touchdowns and earned Big 12 special teams player of the year honors from the league’s coaches. He was viewed as a potential draft pick after he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at K-State’s pro day, but he wasn’t selected during the NFL Draft. The Titans quickly signed him as a free agent.

“Everybody is intrigued by his speed,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said of Burns before the draft. “That is a key element for the league. He will find a place or a place will find him. I’m not sure who it is going to be yet or when it is going to take place … But he can help anybody.”

The career change doesn’t come as a complete surprise. At K-State, Burns openly shared his religious beliefs, saying his strong faith pushed him to be at his best on the football field.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett