Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns intends to stay with the Cardinal to exercise his fifth year of eligibility, he announced in a release on Tuesday.
"I figured I have a great opportunity in coming back, getting another degree and learning from some phenomenal coaches for another year," Burns said in a statement. "It's also very important to me to prove to this team and to myself that I can be so much better than I was last year."
About two weeks ago, a report indicated Burns -- who was unseated as Stanford's starting quarterback byKeller Chrystabout halfway through the 2016 season -- was planning to transfer. But now, Burns is officially back in the quarterback fray entering 2017.
Chryst, who hurt his knee during Stanford's victory over North Carolina in the Sun Bowl, is expected to miss several months of action. That means that Burns and freshman K.J. Costello will likely be the Cardinal's only scholarship quarterbacks to suit up for spring practice.
Assuming Chryst heals in time for the 2017 season, Stanford's starting quarterback job figures to be a battle between Burns, Chryst and Costello. ESPN 300 prospectDavis Millsis also expected to be on campus come fall camp, but no true freshman quarterback has seen game action for the Cardinal ever since Jim Harbaugh took over head-coaching duties in 2007.
Last season, Burns beat out Chryst to earn the nod from head coachDavid Shawentering Week 1. Burns led the Cardinal to early-season wins over Kansas State, USC and UCLA, but he struggled in Stanford's next four games. Plagued by a laboring offensive line, the Cardinal managed an offensive touchdown outside of garbage time in only one of them, and Shaw benched Burns in favor of Chryst.
Stanford's running game enjoyed a revival over the season's final six games -- all wins -- and Burns didn't see action again until the Sun Bowl, following Chryst's injury.
Burns completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,151 yards in 2016. He tossed five touchdowns and threw seven interceptions.
Stanford QB Ryan Burns says he's staying for his 5th year