Reports late last week stated that four-star center D.J. Burns could be reclassifying from the 2019 class to the 2018 class. His AAU coach at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League said it was “a possibility” and that he and his family were looking into what he needed to do.
Then on late Sunday night, Burns himself tweeted out the news that he would, in fact, be reclassifying into the 2018 class. He’s now eligible to play immediately in college for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
— DJ Burns (@beastboyburns) May 7, 2018
This is big news for the Vols because Burns has been one of their top targets in the 2019 class, and Tennessee still has one scholarship available in the 2018 cycle to give. There’s been plenty of speculation that the Vols have been waiting on both Burns and five-star combo guard Jalen Lecque to announce reclassifications to the 2018 before they determined what to do with that scholarship.
Now that Burns has finally announced his decision to move to the 2018 class, expect Tennessee to do everything they can to get him on their roster for the fall.
The Vols won’t be the only team trying their hardest to land Burns, though. The Rock Hill, South Carolina center has been pursued heavily by South Carolina over the last few months, and Virginia has also been showing a lot of interest in him.
Burns was listed as the No. 79 overall player and No. 18 center in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, but he’s yet to be re-ranked into the 2018 class. Judging by his overall score on 247Sports, he should still be a top-85 overall player in the 2018 class, though.
Burns has been a standout in high school thus far. He’s amassed 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds in high school, and he currently holds almost two dozen scholarship offers. The 6-foot-9, 248 pound center has offers from Virginia, Auburn, LSU, Houston, South Carolina, Georgia, and many others.
His film shows off his extensive offensive game. The latest film available is of his sophomore year during the 2016-17 season, but even then it was apparent that he has high level offensive talent. He doesn’t just use his size to bully his way to the basket; Burns knows several post moves and even has a solid jump shot. He’s a force on defense as well, altering and blocking shots on several occasions.
During the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League last summer Burns totaled 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in just 16.1 minutes per contest. He shot 55.3 percent overall from the field and a solid 70 percent from the free throw line in those eight games.
The Vols recently added Richmond grad transfer guard Khwan Fore to their 2018-19 roster, and he used up one of the two scholarships Tennessee had available during this recruiting cycle. With his move to the 2018 class, Burns immediately becomes the Vols’ top 2018 target and most likely candidate to take that final scholarship.