Burton picks up ESPN honor

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior wide receiver Keenan Burton has been selected to the annual ESPN “All-Mayday” Team for players who have shown extraordinary toughness and determination during their collegiate careers.

The team is compiled by Mark May, Brett Edgerton, and Katie Sharp of ESPN and the team was profiled during an ESPN college football show.

Burton was selected for the toughness he displayed while playing through multiple injuries in the 2007 season. Burton first incurred an ankle sprain early in the campaign but continued to play. Then, he sustained a sprained knee ligament against Florida, causing him to miss UK’s loss against Mississippi State.

Although not full speed, Burton returned to action for the final three regular-season games. Recurring swelling in his knee gave him problems leading up the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, and as late as two days before the game, Coach Rich Brooks said it was “very doubtful” that Burton would play.

Burton, however, chose to keep going and he played most of the game against Florida State, catching seven passes while helping lead the Wildcats to a 35-28 win over the Seminoles.

After returning to Lexington, arthroscopic surgery revealed a small cartilage tear in his knee, which was causing the swelling. The tear was repaired and Burton is expected to resume workouts in 2-3 weeks.

Despite the multiple limitations, Burton led the team in receptions for the 2007 season, catching 66 passes for 741 yards and nine touchdowns.

“Keenan really played well through the sprained ankle and sprained knee,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “Obviously, the Music City Bowl was a gutsy performance. He played with the injury in the bowl game after not being able to go through a lot of practice. That’s the kind of toughness that NFL people like to see.”

This is the third straight year that a Wildcat has been named to the “All-Mayday” Team, as wide receiver Tommy Cook was named in 2005 and defensive tackle Lamar Mills was picked in 2006