Burnett will share all the spotlight over the next few months with Michael Munoz as being the first junior captain since 1944, but he deserves a spotlight nonetheless. I will save all of the drama for the preseason football magazines, but I will tell you how impressive KB looked in his first practice session, be it light, since his injury against Wyoming last August.
Burnett spent the first half of practice working with linebackers on short passes 5 yards and in. Burnett amazed me with his ability to get so low to the ground yet fielding such a tall, bulked up frame. This makes his ability to hit other players very uncanny. Obviously there was no hitting going on today, but Kev looked like he was foaming at the mouth to get his opportunity.
He showed wonderful vision, as he always has, but more importantly his movement seemed to be possibly better than when he went down with his injury. The thing that really stood out today was Kevin Burnett's ability to be a leader during practice. He was quick to correct and help his fellow defenders correct any mistakes that they made. Didn't catch anyone correcting Kevin today though. I'm not sure if he did everything right or the "Al Wilson" factor is in play with KB.
The biggest activity of the day was when the team went into the team practice period where the main line offense goes against the main line defense. With all of the injuries, that is a little slighted today and all of spring practice for that matter. Burnett's voice was all over Neyland Stadium even though John Chavis made him take off the helmet and coach Jason Mitchell.
Occasionally Burnett would step up and coaches would have to pull him back out of the action to calm him down. Not only was he demanding a lot from his defensive teammates, he wanted all the tailbacks testing his fellow linebackers to go 100 percent.
"He is ready to go out and knock heads now," Casey Clausen said today. "There hardest thing for him is to wait."
Hopefully Burnett is the second coming of Al Wilson or maybe we can say the first coming of Kevin Burnett. Stay tuned.
InsideTennessee.com will attempt to have a practice player profile following every spring practice session. Hope you enjoyed this inaugural edition.