Nate Burleson NFL Bio

The official NFL draft bio on the Vikings' third-round pick, wide receiver Nate Burleson.

Nate Burleson
Wide Receiver
University of Nevada, Reno Wolfpack
Seattle, Washington

Explosive breakaway threat with impressive leaping ability...Shows a sudden burst coming off the line and uses his hands well to escape press coverage...Has an array of moves to elude defenders and shows proper crack-block techniques upfield... Sharp route runner who is especially effective on underneath passes and crossing patterns...Has good field awareness and is very conscious of the sideline markers...Separates quickly from the defender in the open, showing that second gear needed to gain yardage after the catch...Natural hand extender going up for the ball and shows fluid body adjustments coming back for the off-target passes...Very tough and physical going for the ball in a crowd...His upfield acceleration consistently allows him to break tackles...Always gets in the defender's way when trying to block for the ground game… Emerging star with excellent body control and agility…Comes from a family deep in sports tradition…Was a partial qualifier in 1999 and could have petitioned for another year of eligibility, but opted to test his skills in the pros by applying for the 2002 NFL Draft… Finished his career with 248 receptions for 3293 yards (13.6 avg) and 22 touchdowns…Only Geoff Noisy (295, 1995-98) and Trevor Insley (298, 1996-99) had more catches in a career at Nevada…His 3293 yards rank fourth in school annals behind Bryan Reeves (3408, 1991-93), Noisy (4249) and Insley (5005) in school annals…His career average of 7.52 receptions per game established a Western Athletic Conference all-time record.

All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report and the American Football Coaches Association, earning second-team honors from The Sporting News and CNN/SI… All-Western Athletic Conference first-team choice…Finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the top receiver in the nation…Led the nation in receptions per game (11.5) and receiving yards (135.8)…Caught a school and conference season-record 138 passes (four shy of the NCAA record) for 1629 yards (11.8 avg) and 12 touchdowns…Only Trevor Insley (2060 in 1999) and Alex Van Dyke (1854 in 1995) gained more yards receiving in a season at Nevada…Added 115 yards and a score on 22 carries (5.2 avg)…Returned three kickoffs for 67 yards (22.3 avg) and four punts for 24 yards (6.0 avg)…Added three tackles on special teams…Averaged 152.9 all-purpose yards per game.

Washington State…Made 7 catches for 72 yards and gained 12 yards on 3 rushes.
Brigham Young…Caught 12 passes for 213 yards and a 95-yard touchdown (third-longest catch in school history) and carried 3 times for 19 yards.
Rice…Totaled 14 receptions for 128 yards and scores of 4 & 19 yards.
Colorado State…Gained 173 yards on 12 catches with a 21-yard touchdown.
Nevada-Las Vegas…Made 8 catches for 94 yards and a 25-yard touchdown.
Hawaii…Had 11 receptions for 143 yards and 17 yards on a reverse.
San Jose State…Scored on a 27-yard catch, adding 111 yards on 8 catches and 20 yards on a reverse.
Louisiana Tech…Caught 13 passes for 107 yards and a 14-yard score.
Southern Methodist…Added 129 yards and a 4-yard touchdown on 13 catches and also had an 8-yard gain on a reverse.
Texas-El Paso…Named WAC Player of the Week as he set school and conference game-records with 19 receptions, good for 179 yards and an 11-yard touchdown…Also carried 3 times for 14 yards.
Fresno State…Caught 14 passes for 207 yards, including 45 & 18-yard touchdowns, adding another score on a 4-yard reverse.
Boise State…Had 7 receptions for 71 yards and a 17-yard score.

All-Western Athletic Conference second-team choice by The NFL Draft Report…Started nine games, leading the team with 53 receptions for 737 yards (13.9 avg) and two touchdowns… Carried three times for 44 yards (14.7 avg)…Added 90 yards on three kickoff returns (30.0 avg)…Also saw action on defense, intercepting a pass and making a solo tackle.

Brigham Young…Made 6 catches for 56 yards.
Hawaii…Had 7 receptions for 92 yards and a 9-yard touchdown.
Nevada-Las Vegas…Gained 58 yards on 7 catches.
Louisiana Tech…Caught 5 passes for 65 yards and a 26-yard score.
San Jose State…Set school and WAC game-records as he amassed 326 yards, catching 12 passes, including a 91-yarder (third-longest non-scoring play in school history) that set up a touchdown.
Texas-El Paso…Made 5 catches for 49 yards.

Started every game in his first season of collegiate action, leading the team with 57 catches for 921 yards (16.2 avg) and eight touchdowns…Carried twice for 31 yards (15.5 avg) and returned 14 punts for 55 yards (3.9 avg)…Added 177 yards on 11 kickoff returns (16.1 avg).

Oregon…His one catch was good for a 21-yard score.
Colorado State…Caught 6 passes for 116 yards and an 80-yard touchdown.
San Jose State…Gained 150 yards with 24 & 31-yard scores on 7 receptions.
Southern Methodist…Scored the team's only points on a 44-yard touchdown catch.
Texas-El Paso…Made 9 catches for 140 yards, including a 31-yard score.
Hawaii…Gained 104 yards on 8 catches.
Rice…Caught 3 passes for 81 yards and a 14-yard touchdown.

4.59 in the 40-yard dash…235-pound bench press…385-pound squat…37.5-inch vertical jump.

Attended O'Dea (Seattle, Wash.) High…Earned a total of eight letters playing football, track and basketball…Second-team All-State pick in basketball and Athlete of the Year.

General Studies major…Son of Valerie and Alvin Burleson, Sr…Father was a standout safety at the University of Washington (1973-75) before plying in the USFL (Los Angeles) and CFL (Calgary)…His brother, Alvin, Jr., followed his father's foot steps to Washington in 1997 and another brother, Kevin, was a guard on Minnesota's basketball team (1998-2002)…Grandfather was a professional boxer…Has been playing organized football, basketball and track since age nine…Born 8/19/81…Resides in Seattle, Washington.

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