Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett


Eustis, Fla.

High School:

Height / Weight:
5-11 / 185




Updating the Knights in the NFL and CFL

15 former players on NFL rosters.


Updating the Knights in the NFL and CFL

13 former players on NFL rosters.


Updating the Knights in the NFL and CFL

12 former players on NFL rosters.


Updating the Knights in the NFL and CFL

12 former players on NFL rosters.


Updating the Knights in the NFL and CFL

12 former players on NFL rosters.


UCF Falls to Tulsa (AP photos)

Knights control first half, but then succumb to the undefeated Golden Hurricane, 49-19.

CBS College Sports' Going Long Feature on Joe Burnett's Punt Returning

A record setting cornerback and returner for the Knights who was named a first-team All-American as a senior in 2008, helped UCF to its first two bowl berths (2005 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl) and the school's first ever conference championship in 2007...Earned a total of eight career All-Conference USA honors, including a four-year sweep of the first-team punt returner award...Named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year as a senior...Graduated in 19th place for most career punt return yards in NCAA history with 1,304...That sum is both a UCF and Conference USA record...Set the UCF record, and ranked second in C-USA history with 16 career interceptions...Also set UCF career records for most punt returns (96) and the most interception return yards (262) while tying the mark for most punt return touchdowns (3)...Played in 49 career games with 46 starts...Amassed 221 career tackles (172) including 12 TFLs...Had 16 career interceptions and broke up 35 others...Also returned 96 punts for 1,304 yards (13.6 avg.) with three touchdowns and returned 26 kickoffs for 745 yards (28.7 avg.) and a pair of scored.

SENIOR SEASON (2008): Named first-team All-America by Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com...Named second-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation...Earned first-team All-Conference USA accolades in three different disciplines (DB, PR and KR) becoming the first player ever to make first-team All-C-USA in three areas and only the second player ever to do so nationally at the FBS level...Named Conference USA's Special Teams Player of the Year...Was the only player in the nation to rank in the top 20 in both kickoff and punt returns, finishing seventh in kickoff returns and 10th in punt returns, leading C-USA in both categories...With 102.17 all-purpose yards per game, ranking 88th, became just the third player since 2000 to finish in the top 100 in all-purpose yardage despite not gaining any of those yards rushing or receiving...In his first season as a kickoff returner, ran two back for touchdowns to tie the Conference USA seasonal record... Also tied for 13th in the nation with 1.25 passes defended per game...Started all 12 games and made 44 tackles, 4.5 of which were for a loss...Intercepted four passes and had 11 pass break ups...On special teams, returned 26 punts for 378 yards, returned 26 kickoffs for 745 yards and two touchdowns and also blocked one kick...Was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week after UCF's nationally-televised overtime loss to USF (Sept. 6) in which he racked up 206 return yards, including a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and blocked a USF field goal...Had a season-high seven tackles, including a TFL, and an interception in the win over SMU (Oct. 4)...Had a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (the first allowed by Miami since 1998) and a season-high six punt returns at Miami (Oct. 11)...Had five tackles, two TFLs, and interception and a 47-yard kickoff return at Tulsa (Oct. 26)...Intercepted a pass and recorded a TFL in the win at Memphis (Nov. 22)...Received UCF's Dr. Bill Callarman Award as the male student-athlete who gives outstanding effort in the classroom.

JUNIOR SEASON (2007): One of five defensive players to start all 14 games during the season ... With six interceptions, moved into second place on the UCF career charts bringing his overall total to 12 ... Earned first team All-Conference USA honors as a punt returner for the third-consecutive season and first team honors as a defensive back for the second time in his career ... Recorded an interception and a tackle for loss in a win at NC State (Sept. 1) ... Posted a pick in his second-straight game when he tallied his eighth-career interception in the Texas game (Sept. 15) ... Also had three punt returns and placed second on the team with nine tackles (eight solo, one assisted) vs. the Longhorns ... Accumulated 76 yards on five punt returns, and also had two solo tackles, including one for a loss of five yards vs. Memphis (Sept. 22) ... Registered a team-high seven tackles vs. Louisiana (Sept. 29), while adding a pass break-up in the victory ... With his second punt return of the game for 10 yards at East Carolina (Oct. 6), set the UCF career mark for punt return yardage ... Finished the ECU game with two returns for 21 yards, while also posting seven tackles and two pass break-ups on defense ... Made four tackles and had a pass break-up at USF (Oct. 13) ... Totaled 30 yards on three punt returns vs. Tulsa (Oct. 20), and also had five tackles and two pass break-ups in the win ... Posted four takedowns at Southern Miss (Oct. 28) ... Recorded six solo tackles and a pass break-up vs. Marshall (Nov. 3) ... Notched an interception and a 21-yard return at UAB (Nov. 10) ... Finished the win over the Blazers with two pass break-ups and three tackles ... Moved into second place on the UCF career interception chart with two picks at SMU (Nov. 17) ... Also had four punt returns for 34 yards, four tackles and a fumble recovery against the Mustangs ... Nabbed an interception for the third-straight game when he notched his sixth of the year vs. UTEP (Nov. 24), which ranked as the second-most in a single season by a Knight ... Completed the win over the Miners with two tackles and a pass break-up ... Matched his season-high with eight solo tackles and returned a punt 83 yards for a score to help the Knights defeat Tulsa, 44-25, in the C-USA Championship Game (Dec. 1) ... It was his second punt return for a score in C-USA Championship play (also 2005) ... Posted two tackles in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl vs. Mississippi State (Dec. 29).

SOPHOMORE SEASON (2006): Named first team punt returner on the Conference USA Coaches' all-league team ... Started eight games at cornerback before injuring his ankle in the Houston game (Oct. 28) ... Sat out two games before returning against Tulane (Nov. 18) as a punt returner ... Did not start, but saw playing time at cornerback in the season-finale against UAB ... Returned two punts for a total of 12 yards and recorded three solo tackles and one tackle for a loss, while breaking-up one pass and forcing a fumble vs. Villanova (Sept. 2) ... At Florida (Sept. 9), led the team in tackles with a career-high 10 takedowns (nine solo, one assist) ... Had six tackles and a punt return for 16 yards in the loss to USF (Sept. 16) ... Recorded nine tackles, including seven solo, along with four punt returns for a total of 29 yards against Southern Miss (Sept. 26) ... Registered seven solo tackles vs. Pitt (Oct. 13) ... Returned one kickoff for 31 yards and one punt for 50 yards in the Rice game (Oct. 21) ... Also recorded six tackles against the Owls ... Had one assisted tackle at Houston before leaving the game with an ankle injury.

TRUE FRESHMAN SEASON (2005): First-team Freshman All-American according to the Football Writers Association of America, Rivals.com and CollegeFootballNews.com ... Third-team Freshman All-America selection by The Sporting News ... Finished with one of the best freshman seasons in UCF history in 2005 ... C-USA All-Conference First Team and All-Freshman Team selection ... Earned first-team defense and special teams honors ... The only freshman to earn a spot on the first team ... First player in school history to be named a first-team freshman All-American by any media outlet ... Led C-USA and ranked sixth in the nation in punt returns (16.5) ... 26th in the NCAA and second in C-USA in interceptions per game ... Made collegiate debut at South Carolina (Sept. 1) ... Two tackles (one solo) vs. the Gamecocks ... Starter at right cornerback at USF (Sept. 17) ... Four tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage ... Returned two punts for 77 yards, including a 60-yard return down to the USF 5-yard line ... Six tackles (four solo) in 23-13 victory over Marshall (Sept. 24) ... Three punt returns for 34 yards vs. the Herd ... Seven tackles at Louisiana-Lafayette (Oct. 1) ... Four tackles and two pass break-ups in victory over Memphis (Oct. 8) ... Two interceptions in 34-24 victory against Tulane (Oct. 21) ... Picked one pass off in the end zone and deflected another pass into a teammate's hands for one of UCF's four interceptions ... Both picks came in the fourth quarter to end a Tulane rally ... Seven tackles and an interception at East Carolina (Oct. 29) ... Team-leading fourth interception of the season preserved the win at UAB (Nov. 12) in the fourth quarter ... Four tackles and career-high three pass break-ups vs. the Blazers ... Another outstanding performance in the win at Rice (Nov. 19) ... 58-yard punt return for a touchdown for UCF's first score of the game ... The punt return for a TD marked Burnett's first of his career ... Totaled five tackles and sealed the win with an interception on Rice's final drive of the game with under a minute remaining in the contest ... Returned the pick 48 yards ... In the C-USA title game versus Tulsa (Dec. 3), had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown ... Posted seven tackles and had one pass break-up against the Hurricane.

HIGH SCHOOL: Second team Class 2A defensive back selection ... Coached by Steve Moser ... Impressive athlete who lettered four years in football and basketball ... Nominated for the McDonald's All-America game in basketball ... Also earned three letters in track and one in baseball ... Second in Florida history with 31 career interceptions ... Three-star recruit according to rivals.com ... Ranked as the No. 85 prospect in the state of Florida according to the Orlando Sentinel ... First team all-state selection ... Named regional MVP ... Earned defensive player of the year honors in both football and basketball during standout career ... All-area first team selection four times ... Tallied five interceptions with 78 solo tackles and 24 assists as a senior ... Also contributed 689 passing and 874 rushing yards offensively ... Productive junior season featured nine interceptions, along with 68 solo tackles and 20 assists ... Rushed for 20 touchdowns and 1,300 yards as a junior ... 528 kick return yards and 340 punt return yards during junior season.

PERSONAL: Burnett is the son of Tammy Bedford ...Received his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice in December, 2008.

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