Feb. 23, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. -
Tuesday will be former UCF cornerback and return specialist Joe Burnett's day to shine at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis. Burnett will participate in a battery of tests and drills with his fellow defensive back prospects. Live coverage of the event is available on NFL.com, including free streaming of the NFL Network's live coverage of the workouts.
Drills at the combine, including the 40-yard dash, are run alphabetically so Burnett will be near the start of each group. In addition to the agility and strength drills, athletes are interviewed extensively by scouts and coaches from all 32 NFL franchises and also subjected to rigorous physical examinations with league medical personnel. Defensive backs are the last athletes to test out over the week-long event.
Burnett's success at UCF is legendary. He was named as an All-American by ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated and the Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2008 after a record-setting senior year for the Knights.
Burnett was the only player in the nation to rank in the top 20 of both kickoff and punt returns, ranking seventh in kickoff returns and 10th in punt returns this past year. He led C-USA in both disciplines. With 102.17 yards per game to place 88th, Burnett became just the third player since 2000 to finish the season ranked in the top 100 nationally in all-purpose yardage despite not gaining any of those yards either rushing or receiving. This past fall, Burnett, in his first season as a kickoff returner, ran two back for touchdowns, coming against in-state foes USF and Miami, both of which were ranked at various points in 2008. The kickoff return for a touchdown was the first surrendered by the Hurricanes since 1998.
Burnett completed his extraordinary UCF career as the school's record holder in numerous major categories including career interceptions (16) and punt return yards (1,304). Burnett is the Conference USA career record holder for most punt return yards and ranks 19th in NCAA history in that category. He stands second in C-USA annals with his 16 career interceptions. He scored a total of five career special teams touchdowns including a UCF-record three on punt returns.
Following the season, Burnett was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year and was also named first-team All-C-USA as a defensive back, punt returner and kick returner, marking the first time that a player has been named to the first team at three different positions.
In addition to his stellar performances on the field as a Knight, Burnett received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in December.
UCF's Conference USA slate will be released by the league office at a later date. The Knights will play host to Houston, Marshall, Memphis and Tulane at Bright House Networks Stadium while travelling to face East Carolina, Rice, Southern Miss and UAB.
UCF will be playing seven regularly scheduled home games at Bright House Networks Stadium for the first time in the facility's three-year existence. The Knights were fortunate to play seven home games in 2007 with the final contest being the Conference USA Championship Game.
For information on 2009 UCF football season tickets call the Athletics Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.