Dec. 11, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. - UCF senior Joe Burnett (Eustis, Fla.) was named as a returner to the Walter Camp Football Foundation's All-America Second Team on Thursday night. First presented in 1889 by the legendary Yale coach, it is the oldest All-America squad compiled nationally and, perhaps the most famous. Burnett is the second Knight to ever make a Walter Camp All-American team, joining Kevin Smith who was a first-team selection at running back last year.
Earlier this week, 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. This feat had never been accomplished anywhere in the nation prior to last week when Antonio Brown of Central Michigan was named first-team All-Mid American Conference as a wide receiver, punt returner and kickoff returner.
Burnett completes a career sweep of the first-team All-C-USA punt returner titles, winning the award for each of the past four years (2005-08). He also earned first-team recognition as a defensive back in 2005 and 2007, giving him a total of eight career first-team all-conference awards.
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.
In 2008, Burnett is the only player in the nation to rank in the top 20 of both kickoff and punt returns, presently ranking seventh in kickoff returns and 11th in kickoff returns. He led C-USA in both disciplines. With 102.17 yards per game, he will likely become 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 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 this year.
Walter Camp, "The Father of American Football," first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp - a former Yale University athlete and football coach - is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation - a New Haven, Conn. based all-volunteer group - was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
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.