AT COLORADO: 2009 (Sr.)—He played in all 12 games, including seven starts, as linebacker coach Brian Cabral basically had four first-team equivalents at the position. He saw action for 403 snaps from scrimmage, tying for sixth on the team in tackles with 66 (40 solo). He tied for second on the team in tackles for loss with nine, which included four quarterback sacks, and had 12 tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage when including three tackles for zero. He also had nine third down stops, five quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles with one recovery, two passes broken up and a touchdown save. He had a career-high 10 tackles against both Iowa State (four solo) and Oklahoma State (six), along with eight tackles against Colorado State and seven versus Missouri, when he also had two tackles for loss and two third down stops. The coaches again honored him with the Gold Group Commitment Award, given to those players committed to all-around excellence, and he also won the Hang Tough Award for overcoming the most adversity. In the spring, he won the Hale Irwin Award as the most improved defensive back (linebacker or secondary), and also was the Iron Buffalo Award winner for the linebackers, given for hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage lifted in the weight room. Ended spring drills listed at No. 1 at the mike inside linebacker spot, fueled by his performances in the three main scrimmages (21 tackles, 15 solo, two sacks, two third down stops). Selected as a team captain prior to the start of the season.
2008 (Jr.)—He saw action in 10 games (no starts) on defense and all 12 on special teams, tying for third on the squad in special team points with 13. He earned those on the strength of seven tackles (four solo, three inside-the-20), a forced fumble, a wedge break and a first down field credit that altered the return path. He was in for 59 plays from scrimmage, posting eight tackles (two solo), with two quarterback chasedowns; he had two tackles each against West Virginia and Texas. He entered the fall atop the depth chart at the will inside linebacker spot after missing the entire 2007 season due to academics. He had 20 tackles (11 solo, two for losses, one sack) in the three main spring scrimmages.
2007 (RS)—Redshirted as he was academically ineligible. He was the coaches’ choice for the scout team defensive player of the week for the Nebraska game, as despite being ineligible; he practiced hard every day. The Iron Buffalo Award winner for the linebackers in the spring, as he was the choice for the honor bestowed on the player at each position who represents hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage in the weight room.
2006 (Soph.)—Played in the first nine games of the season, including seven on defense (one start, at Missouri) and in all on special teams until being sidelined the last three games of the year with a fractured tibia. He posted seven tackles in 64 snaps from scrimmage, adding two more on special teams coverage duty. He also forced a fumble in the Colorado State game. He had five tackles, two for losses, and two third down stops in the spring game.
2005 (Fr.)—He saw action in all 13 games including the Champs Sports Bowl (no starts), getting in on defense for 11 games and in special teams on all. The Sporting News selected him to its Freshman All-Big 12 team. In 165 plays from scrimmage, he racked up 29 tackles (18 solo), with three for losses (one sack), four third down stops, two hurries, two passes broken up, two interceptions (tying for the team lead) and a caused interception. In his first extensive action of the season, he played in 29 snaps from scrimmage at Oklahoma State, finishing with four solo tackles including a sack. He also had one of the most spectacular plays of the game, as well as by a freshman in CU history: with 43 seconds remaining, he scooped up a deflected pass and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown, not only preserving a 34-0 shutout but also recording the second longest play (and score) of any kind by a true freshman in Colorado history (only a 100-yard kickoff return by Walter Stanley against Oklahoma in 1980 was longer). He season high in tackles was five at Texas in the regular season game, with four tackles on four occasions (OSU, Kansas, Missouri and Texas in the Big 12 title game). His other interception came in the Kansas game, also off a deflection, the same game a PBU by him caused a pick.
HIGH SCHOOL—As a senior, he was a member of the Houston Chronicle Top 100 (one of the top 11 linebackers), with Scout.com named him to its All-Southwest Defensive Team and ranked him No. 41 on its Hot 100 list (the second linebacker). A team captain in 2004, he was also a SuperPrep All-Southwest selection (No. 46 overall, third-best LB) and a PrepStar All-Midlands player, while Rivals.com tabbed him the No. 36 outside linebacker in the nation and the No. 51 overall prep on its postseason Texas Top 100 list. He also earned second-team all-state and first-team all-district (23-4A) honors, en route to being named his team’s MVP, and as a junior, he earned second-team all-district honors. As a sophomore playing defensive end at Jack Yates High School, he earned first-team all-district (17-5A) honors, and was an honorable mention all-Greater Houston Area honoree. He posted 145 tackles (including 85 solo and 60 for loss) his senior year, when he also had three quarterback sacks, 20 quarterback pressures, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries one interception and three pass deflections. Splitting time between end and outside ‘backer as a junior, he tallied 65 tackles (47 solo), including 20 tackles for loss, eight sacks, 18 hurries, six forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles, one interception and three pass deflections. His sophomore season he had 93 stops (54 solo, including 37 for loss), an amazing 21.5 sacks, 35 hurries, seven forced fumbles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups. Top games included when he was a sophomore in 2002 in a 23-20 win over Forest Brook in a state-record eight overtimes, he had 15 tackles (10 solo, all for losses including five sacks), with five quarterback pressures and a forced fumble. In a 28-14 loss to Forrest Brook two years later, he had 17 tackles (13 solo), including six for loss, one sack, three pressures, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup. As a freshman, in one of the proudest moments of his early career, he sacked former Madison High School senior and soon-to-be Texas Longhorn gunslinger Vincent Young in a 56-13 first-round playoff loss. “That was huge for me. It gave me confidence and let me know I could compete with the best,” Burton adds when looking back. Under coach John Lainus, Channelview was 1-9 his senior year and 5-5 his junior season; at Jack Yates his sophomore year, his team won district by going 8-4 and was 7-4 his freshman season, losing in the first-round of state each year. He also lettered three times in track (throws), with prep bests of 50-0 in the shot put and 120-0 in the discus.
ACADEMICS—He majored in Ethnic Studies at Colorado and was scheduled to graduate in May 2010. He owned a 3.6 grade point average (3.0 core) as a prep, and was on the “A-B” Honor Roll his junior year. He was named to the Who’s Who Among Texas Student-Athletes when he was a junior.
PERSONAL—Born April 21, 1987 in Houston, Texas. Hobbies include painting, stencil drawing and playing video games. In high school, his church youth group volunteered at a local homeless shelter and made hospital visits, and his sports marketing class helped out junior high athletic programs set up fundraising events and games. An uncle, Dale Joseph, played cornerback in the NFL for Tampa Bay and Arizona in the early 1990s, and competed in the CFL for Saskatchewan and British Columbia. A grandfather, Carlton Joseph, was a defensive end and tackle at Wisconsin from 1959-60. He often leads team Bible studies. He has a son, Tysen, born in September 2007.
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ADDITIONAL STATISTICS—Kickoff Returns: 1-14, 14.0 avg. (2009). Interception Returns: 2-104, 52.0 avg., 99 long, 1 TD (2005). Special Team Tackles: 1,1—2 (2006); 4,3—7 (2008); 2,1—3 (2009).