March Madness

DJ Burns Jr. drawing NFL interest amid NC State's Final Four run, reports say

"NFL interest in DJ Burns is a real thing," Jim Nagy, executive director of the Senior Bowl, said.

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DJ Burns Jr. has become a March Madness fan favorite during NC State's run to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

And, apparently, there's even those outside of the basketball world who are captivated by the skilled Wolfpack center.

Burns has piqued the interest of NFL personnel over his potential as a football player, according to multiple reports.

As No. 11 NC State took down No. 2 Marquette in the Sweet 16 on Friday, Jim Nagy, a longtime NFL scout who currently serves as executive director of the Senior Bowl, said he can't help but think about Burns' football potential when watching him play.

"Anyone else having trouble watching N.C State big man D.J. Burns and not thinking about him kick-sliding in pass pro or getting out on pulls? Can't just be me," Nagy wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Then, on Monday morning, Nagy said he heard from a general manager, assistant general manager and college director about Burns all within an hour following his social media post.

"NFL interest in DJ Burns is a real thing," Nagy added in a post on X.

NFL Network's Peter Schrager on Monday said he's spoken to multiple scouts and general managers about Burns as a potential offensive tackle prospect as well. In a post on X, Schrager said Burns participating in a pro day-like workout after the Final Four would generate a "big turnout."

Burns, who's in his final year of college eligibility, appeared on "The Rich Eisen Show" last week and said his "main goal" is to play in the NBA. It's unclear what level of interest, if any, he has in pursuing an NFL career.

Burns, who's listed at 6-foot-9 and 275 pounds, said he played football growing up but stopped after he got his first basketball scholarship offer as an eighth-grader. He was a tight end and defensive end during his football playing days.

Burns' college basketball career looked like it was going to end some time in last month's ACC Tournament, which NC State entered as the No. 10 seed following a 17-14 regular season. But the Wolfpack have since gone on two different Cinderella runs, first capturing the conference tournament title and now making a historic Final Four appearance.

Burns has been a driving force behind NC State's undefeated postseason showing. He was the ACC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player and has averaged 18.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the Big Dance.

Burns and Co. will face Zach Edey and No. 1 Purdue in the Final Four on Saturday with a spot in the national championship game on the line.

The No. 11 NC State Wolfpack defeated No. 4 Duke in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four.
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