Burton knows the competition at wide receiver will make him better, too.
“My maturity will make me a better player,” Burton said. “There are so many players vying for the position and if you don’t perform in practice or games, you can be replaced. Nobody is guaranteed a spot. We have to earn it and that is up to coach (Rich) Brooks, coach (Joker) Phillips and coach (Ron) Hudson. They will make the decisions on who plays. I have to step up my game because I am in danger of losing my position. Others want my job and it is up to me to see if I can keep it.”
Brooks mentioned Burton’s name as a possible replacement for All-American kick returner Derek Abney when the season begins Sept. 5 at Louisville.
“I’ll never be able to replace Derek’s ability to return kicks,” Burton said. “But I feel good about the opportunity. If (Brooks) has the confidence in me and I have confidence in myself, I’ll be fine. Dicky Lyons is an excellent return man and we still have Arliss (Beach), Draak (Davis) and Glen (Holt) that he can return kicks.”
Burton has lofty goals for UK this year.
“We all want to go undefeated and go to a bowl game,” Burton added. “There might be some adversity along the way, but we have to overcome it. We can’t continue to make the same mistakes over and over like we did last year. Having the same coaching staff back this year is a blessing. Some of our players have gone through so many coaches that it is hard for them to adjust to all the changes.”
One of his two touchdown catches last season came in the season opener against Louisville. He would like nothing better to duplicate the feat against his hometown school.
“It would certainly be nice to play well there and continue it throughout the season,” Burton said. “My personal goals are to do everything the coaches expect of me. I want to catch every pass and play as hard as I can. Everything else will fall into place.”