Burnette, Wilkins, Sign NFL Free Agent Contracts

April 27, 2013
By ODU Athletics

April 27, 2013

NORFOLK, Va. - Former Old Dominion University football stars Chris Burnette and Craig Wilkins, joined NFL teams as undrafted free agents on Saturday following the NFL Draft. Burnette, a defensive lineman, signed with the Miami Dolphins while Wilkins, a linebacker, joined the Seattle Seahawks.

"Every member of our football family here at Old Dominion University is incredibly excited for Craig Wilkins and Chris Burnette. What these two individuals have accomplished in their careers is nothing short of remarkable. They joined our program on August 13, 2008 when we first started. We practiced that first year and tried to establish our "Aim High" philosophy. We needed Student-Athletes like Craig and Chris to provide leadership and direction and they had to do it as freshmen themselves," ODU Head Coach Bobby Wilder said. "As captains this past year they helped lead our team to an 11-2 record, the conference championship, and a No. 6 final national ranking. I firmly believe both players will make their respective teams and continue to represent Old Dominion University in the NFL."

The pair join Ronnie Cameron, who is currently on the Philadelphia Eagles and Thomas DeMarco and Deron Mayo, who play for the BC Lions and Calgary Stampeders, respectively, in the CFL.

Wilkins was a four-year captain for the Monarchs playing in all 48 games in the program's four-year history. He graduates as the school leader in practically every defensive career statistic, including tackles (340), tackles for loss (40), sacks (13.5), forced fumbles (5), fumbles recovered (9) and is tied for the school record with nine interceptions. He also holds the single-game record for tackles with 17 against Hampton in 2011.

In his senior season, Wilkins led ODU with 90 tackles, 6.5 sacks and tied for the team-lead with 13.5 tackles for loss. His 6.5 sacks tied for the most in a single-season in school history. He also recorded a team-best three interceptions. The Washington, D.C. native was a two-time All-CAA honoree and earned All-America honors his final campaign from Phil Steele and the College Sports Journal.

A native of Baltimore, Md., Burnette also played in all 48 games in ODU history and is second in career tackles behind Wilkins. Burnette recorded career highs in 2012 with tackles at 73, sacks with four and also recorded his first career interception at Towson.

He was a two-time All-CAA award winner and earned All-America accolades from The Sports Network and Beyond Sports Network.

Burnette and Wilkins helped ODU to a four-year record of 38-10, two FCS playoff appearances and leading the Monarchs to a 7-1 record in the CAA this past season to finish atop the conference.

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