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Nathaniel Eugene Burleson[1] (born August 19, 1981) is an American football commentator and former wide receiver. He played college football for the Nevada Wolf Pack and was drafted into the National Football League (NFL) by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Burleson was also a member of the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. Burleson is now working with NFL Network on Good Morning Football and CBS Sports on The NFL Today, along with being a New York correspondent for the entertainment news program Extra.

Nate Burleson
refer to caption
Burleson working for NFL Network in 2015
No. 14, 81, 13
Position:Wide receiver / Return specialist
Personal information
Born: (1981-08-19) August 19, 1981 (age 38)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:198 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High school:Seattle (WA) O'Dea
College:Nevada
NFL Draft:2003 / Round: 3 / Pick: 71
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:457
Receiving yards:5,630
Receiving touchdowns:39
Total return yards:2,809
Return touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Burleson was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At the time his father, Al Burleson, was playing defensive back for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was born into a prolific and tight-knit sporting family. His oldest brother, Alvin Jr., played college football for the University of Washington Huskies and the Western Illinois University Leathernecks. Another older brother, Kevin played professional basketball and was formerly a point guard for the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His younger brother Lyndale played college basketball for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack.[2] Kevin and Nate Burleson are one of only two sibling duos in which one brother played in the NBA while the other played in the NFL.[3] As a mark of his father's influence, Nate Burleson's jersey number on the Seattle Seahawks, 81, was his father's high school number.[2]

In 1983, when Burleson was an infant, his father signed with the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League (USFL), moving the family back to the United States. However, Burleson remains proud of his Canadian heritage, sporting a maple leaf tattoo and expressing interest in playing for Canada in a World Cup of football to the media.[3] After an injury ended Alvin Burleson's playing career, he moved the family to his hometown of Seattle, Washington, U.S., where he worked for Associated Grocers.[2] Nate Burleson attended Rainier View Elementary School in Seattle.[4][5] He attended Lindbergh High School in the suburb of Renton as a freshman, and then transferred to O'Dea High School in Seattle, where he graduated. As a senior, he was named Seattle Times City Athlete of the Year.[6]

Burleson was also on the school's track and field team, competing as a sprinter and hurdler. He won the state title in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 38.70 seconds in 1999, and finished eighth in 110-meter hurdles as junior.[7]

College careerEdit

Burleson hoped to attend the University of Washington, his father's alma mater, but was not offered a football scholarship. Instead he accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Nevada, Reno and played for the Nevada Wolf Pack. In the 2002 season he made 138 receptions, the second highest in NCAA history.[2] His senior year, he led the NCAA in both receiving yards and in receptions per game. During his time at Nevada he made a total of 248 receptions for a total of 3,293 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was named first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association, All-WAC by the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), and team MVP, and was named second-team All-America by The Sporting News and CNN/SI. He currently holds the WAC and Nevada all-time records for single game receptions with 19 catches. He graduated with a degree in human development and family studies.[6]

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad
6 ft 0 12 in
(1.84 m)
197 lb
(89 kg)
4.51 s 1.58 s 2.65 s 4.16 s 6.96 s 42 12 in
(1.08 m)
10 ft 6 in
(3.20 m)
All values from NFL Combine[8]

Minnesota VikingsEdit

Burleson was selected in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, the 71st overall pick. He showed promise during his rookie season, but did not put up great numbers. In his second season, 2004, Burleson emerged as a threat when fellow receiver Randy Moss injured his hamstring. Burleson was now the go-to-guy for Minnesota. He put up strong numbers and reached 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. Not only a great receiver, but a standout special teams player as well, Burleson is the only player in NFL history to have three punt returns of 90 or more yards.[9]

Seattle SeahawksEdit

 
Burleson with the Seahawks in 2009.

On March 24, 2006, Burleson signed a seven-year $49 million offer sheet to play with his hometown Seattle Seahawks. In retribution for the Vikings signing an offer sheet with former Seahawks guard Steve Hutchinson, the Seahawks put clauses in Burleson's offer sheet which made it virtually impossible for Minnesota to match (similar to what the Vikings did with Hutchinson). The offer sheet stated that the entire $49 million would be guaranteed if Burleson played five games, in one season, in the state of Minnesota, or if his average per year exceeded the average of all running backs on the team combined. The Vikings played eight home games a year in Minneapolis, and at the time of the offer sheet, the team spent far less than $7 million per year for its entire running back corps. On the other hand, Seattle was spending over $7 million a year on just one of its running backs (Shaun Alexander). The Vikings had seven days to match the offer sheet but declined to do so. Minnesota received Seattle's third-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft; Seattle, however, received no compensation for the departure of Hutchinson.[10] On September 7, 2008, Burleson tore a ligament in his knee in Seattle's season opener against the Bills. He was put on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

Burleson owns the Seahawk team record for most punt return yards in a single season (2007) as well as career punt return yards.

Detroit LionsEdit

During the early hours of the NFL free agency period on March 5, 2010, Burleson agreed to a five-year $25 million contract with the Detroit Lions.[11] Burleson reunited with his former offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, with whom he had his best season of his career in 2004, when he caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns while playing for the Vikings.[12] In 2011, Burleson was named recipient of the Detroit Lions-Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association/Pro Football Writers Association's Media-Friendly "Good Guy Award" for his interactions with the media in Detroit. On September 24, 2013, Burleson fractured his forearm in two places in an early morning, single-car accident.[13] It was reported that Burleson was attempting to save a pizza from falling off a seat in his car and lost control of his vehicle. He was cut from the Lions on February 13, 2014.[14]

Cleveland BrownsEdit

On April 6, 2014, Burleson signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns,[15] but was cut on August 30.[16]

NFL statisticsEdit

Receiving statistics[17]

Year Team G Rec Tgt Yds Avg Long TD FD Fmb Fmb lost
2003 MIN 16 29 57 455 15.7 52 2 17 1 1
2004 MIN 16 68 102 1,006 14.8 68 9 50 0 0
2005 MIN 12 30 52 328 10.9 20 1 20 0 0
2006 SEA 16 18 37 192 10.7 36 2 9 0 0
2007 SEA 16 50 96 694 13.9 45 9 37 1 1
2008 SEA 1 5 9 60 12.0 20 1 4 0 0
2009 SEA 13 63 103 812 12.9 44 3 42 2 2
2010 DET 14 55 86 625 11.4 58 6 32 2 2
2011 DET 16 73 110 757 10.4 47 3 36 1 1
2012 DET 6 27 43 240 8.9 26 2 14 0 0
2013 DET 9 39 55 461 11.8 47 1 23 1 0
Career 135 457 750 5,630 12.3 68 39 284 8 7

Return stats[17]

Year Team G PR att PR yds PR TD FC PR long KR att KR yds KR TD KR long
2003 MIN 16 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 MIN 16 25 214 1 9 91 2 51 0 29
2005 MIN 12 5 21 0 0 10 0 0 0 0
2006 SEA 16 34 322 1 7 90 26 643 0 50
2007 SEA 16 58 658 1 8 94 27 590 1 91
2008 SEA 1 3 54 0 3 21 0 0 0 0
2009 SEA 13 30 254 0 3 29 1 2 0 2
2010 DET 14 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Career 104 156 1,523 3 30 94 57 1,286 1 91

Broadcasting careerEdit

Burleson attended a Broadcast Boot Camp put on by the NFL in 2012. After his playing career ended in 2014, he began working as an analyst for the NFL Network. In 2015, Burleson was also a member of the Detroit Lions preseason broadcast team as a color commentator for the Detroit Lions Television Network.[18] In 2016, Good Morning Football debuted on NFL Network with Burleson, Kay Adams, Kyle Brandt, and Peter Schrager as co-hosts.[19] On May 8, 2017, it was announced that Burleson will join the NFL on CBS team as a studio analyst for The NFL Today, while still serving as co-host of GMFB.[20] During half-time of the Patriots/Chiefs AFC Championship game, Burelson defended the non-call during the Saints/Rams game which gave the win to the Rams.

Personal lifeEdit

Burleson and his wife Atoya have two sons and a daughter.[6]

After his car accident, DiGiorno gave Burleson a year's supply of free pizza.[21]

Burleson rapped on a song by Wizdom featuring the Wu Tang Clan, "Put in Work." [22]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "ESPN Profile". ESPN.com.
  2. ^ a b c d Raley, Dan (September 13, 2006). "Burlesons are the first family of Seattle sports". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Duff, Bob (October 18, 2010). "Lions' Burleson proud of Canadian roots". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved October 19, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Fryer, Alex (June 21, 2007). "Rainier View remembered". Seattle Times. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  5. ^ Spratt, Gerry (December 9, 2011). "Nate Burleson wants you to know where he went to elementary school". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Seattle Seahawks Bio Archived February 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 3, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ http://www.draftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=258&draftyear=2003&genpos=WR
  9. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BurlNa00.htm
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Source: Receiver Nate Burleson agrees to 5-year, $25 million with $11 million guaranteed deal with Detroit Lions - ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  12. ^ http://www.freep.com/article/20100304/SPORTS01/100305004/Lions-sign-WR-Nate-Burleson-to-five-year-deal
  13. ^ http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9715810/detroit-lions-wr-nate-burleson-breaks-arm-car-crash
  14. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (February 13, 2014). "Nate Burleson released by Detroit Lions". NFL.com. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "Nate Burleson, Cleveland Browns strike one-year deal". NFL. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  16. ^ "Nate Burleson cut by Cleveland Browns". ESPN.com. August 30, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Nate Burleson Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  18. ^ "Burleson, Rubick, Shepard make up Lions Preseason broadcast team for Fox Sports Detroit". detroitlions.com. July 30, 2015. Archived from the original on August 1, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  19. ^ "Nate Burleson takes on-field passion to 'Good Morning Football'". NFL.com. September 26, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "Nate Burleson to join 'The NFL Today' Sunday pregame show". NFL.com. May 8, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  21. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/lions-receiver-nate-burleson-receives-free-digiorno-pizza-190720352--nfl.html
  22. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-book-of-wizdom/281475024

External linksEdit