There were several reasons Kilgore College football was entertaining to watch in 2017, and one young man was near the top of that list.
Now, he’s getting recognition for it.
Linebacker Troy Burnett, a sophomore for the Rangers, has been named an NJCAA All-American, and a member of the first-team defense, to boot.
In nine games played this year, Burnett had 102 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble. Burnett has been one of KC’s centerpieces in both of his seasons here, and in both seasons, the Rangers’ defense was among, if not the best, in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference.
Incredibly, as a freshmen at KC in 2016, the linebacker led the entire NJCAA in tackles (167). He was also an Associated Press Class 5A first-team all-state selection in his senior year in high school.
“That’s a really impressive individual honor,” KC head coach J.J. Eckert said, “to be named first-team all-conference as a freshmen and sophomore, and honorable mention NJCAA All-American as a freshmen and first-team as a sophomore. He was our defensive captain (this season.”
The Rangers went 5-4 in 2017, and barely missed the playoffs. KC’s defense allowed 168 rushing yards, 180 passing yards and 24 points per game.
Burnett, from Missouri City, Texas, is one of just five players from the conference that made this year’s first-team All-American list. The others: Navarro offensive lineman Levon Livingston, Trinity Valley offensive lineman Matt Martin, Blinn defensive lineman Antwuan Jackson, and Navarro defensive back Benjie Franklin.
Like many at this time of year, Eckert said Burnett is narrowing his choices for his next college destination.