June 8, 2009

Tennessee kicker gaining early attention

Dustin Burnett did not begin kicking until this past season but is already beginning to draw interest from several colleges.

The 6-foot-0, 170-pounder from Atoka, Tenn., is hoping that a good showing at the National Scholarship Camp in Wisconsin will help get him even more exposure in hopes of landing an offer.

Burnett is an all-around athlete competing in both soccer and track on the national scene. Burnett placed 10th in AAU Junior Olympics in the triple jump and represented the U.S. on a national club soccer team in England.

But last year, Burnett decided to give football another shot after being persuaded last year by the coaches at Brighton High School to come out and kick.

"I just started kicking last year," Burnett said. "It's just kind of taken off from there. I had played football in middle school but stopped when I got to high school because I am originally a soccer player and I play club ball and I was on a national team so I just got super busy with that. The football coaches at my school recruited me and said they could use me. I basically just kicked last year off the knowledge of kicking. I really haven't had anybody show me how to kick and I did pretty well. Apparently I am doing good at it. I'm just trying to get better at it."

Burnett recently had a strong showing at the Kohl's Professional Kicking Camp in Olive Branch, Miss., and will be going back June 12-13 for another showing.

Burnett also entertained a pair of programs this spring as Memphis and Arkansas State both came by to see him kick. Burnett will take both of those schools up on their invitation to camp this summer.

"I am going to Memphis on June 18th for a kicking competition and the 19th for their senior camp," Burnett said. "I'm also going to Arkansas State but I'm not sure when that is."

There is another larger scale program that Burnett is also interested in. With the recent announcement that redshirt sophomore Eric Richards will no longer be able to play football after his nagging hip injury, Burnett could be an option for Mississippi State in the future.

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