Burton Named to CFPA Punt Returner Award Watch List
July 16, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Missouri State junior Julian Burton (Cordova, Tenn.) was named to the College Football Performance Awards' (CFPA) Punt Returner Watch List Monday. Burton earned the preseason honor along with 32 other returning Division I FCS players who will be vying for the top individual punt returner award in the Football Championship Subdivision this season.
Burton started first eight games for the Bears last fall, averaging 22.0 yards on six kickoff returns and 6.5 yards on 15 punt returns before sustaining a season-ending injury. He was fourth on the club in receptions (25) and receiving yards (374) and earned MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week and CFPA National Punt Returner of the Week recognition for his performance vs. South Dakota on Oct. 13. In that contest, Burton helped set up Missouri State's game-winning field goal with a 30-yard punt return in the final minute of the game. He finished the game with three punt returns for 68 yards (22.7) and a game-high 166 all-purpose yards, as well as a career-best 98 receiving yards on four catches, including a career-long 60-yard touchdown grab with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter to pull the Bears within 24-17 of the Coyotes.
Three other Missouri Valley Football Conference punt returners also made the elite list of preseason honorees, including North Dakota State's Christian Dudzik and Ryan Smith, as well as Southern Illinois' LaSteven McKinney. MSU teammates Caleb Schaffitzel and Chris Sullens were previously recognized by the CFPA with spots on the organization's preseason defensive back and punter watch lists, respectively.
College Football Performance Awards, the largest awards organization in Division I college football, selects its honorees exclusively on objective scientific rankings to the extent players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. More than 130 CFPA recipients have signed professional contracts, and 21 have been first-round NFL Draft selections.
Under eighth-year head coach Terry Allen, the MSU Bears will open fall camp on July 31 and will meet the media at MSU's annual Media Day event on Monday, Aug. 5.