Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson did not close the door completely on linebacker Julian Burnett’s playing career. But Burnett’s neck injury, suffered in the Sun Bowl Dec. 31, appears to have ended his career.
“Well, you need to get that statement from Julian,” Johnson said Monday, following Tech’s first spring practice. “If he’s not out here, he’s probably not going to play.”
Burnett will be placed on medical scholarship, meaning he is ineligible to play in the coming season.
“He’s a heck of a competitor and a good football player, but there’s bigger things in life than football,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to be safe.”
Burnett led the Yellow Jackets in tackles for the past two seasons, despite starting only eight games in 2010. He was named to the All-ACC second team last season after finishing fifth in the regular season in tackles.
Johnson said Burnett will remain involved with the team in some fashion.
“He’s disappointed,” Johnson said. “Like anything, you want him to play, but I think he can look at the big picture, and the team doctors and everybody sat down and talked to him and explained the situation and I think he understands.”
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog