clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ASU Football: All-Sun Devil second-team return specialists

The Sun Devils have a history of great kick and punt returners.

AP Michael Caufield

A lot of the attention in football is focused on the offense and the defense, but one area that often gets overlooked is special teams. While 2013 was a below-average year in the return game, that hasn't been the case during much of Arizona State's history. Here is a look at the second-team All-Sun Devil second team returners.

J.R. Redmond

Redmond may have made the Arizona State Sports Hall of Fame for being one of the greatest running backs in Sun Devil history but that wasn't his only contribution. He was also one of the better punt returners the school has ever seen.

In 1996, Redmond's first season, he returned eight punts against North Texas, which is the second-most punt returns in a game in Arizona State history. That same year he also returned 34 total punts which is the fourth-best mark in school history.

While Redmond doesn't hold records for punt return yardage in a season or any single game, he is second in school history in punt return yards for a career (986).  He also holds the school record for most punt returns in a career (108).

Redmond earned first team All-Pac-10 honors as a return specialist in 1998 and received the same award at running back becoming only the third player in Pac-10 history at the time to receive the honor at two different positions in the same season.

Rudy Burgess

Burgess' claim to fame is his diversity. In his time with the Sun Devils he played running back and wide receiver and amassed 4,379 all-purpose yards and 19 total touchdowns. Heck, he even spent some time as a cornerback. But he was his most dangerous when he was back returning kickoffs.

Only once in Burgess' career from 2003-2007 (he redshirted in 2003) did he average less than 20 yards per kickoff return. He holds both the single-season and career records for kickoff returns (38 and 68 respectively).

Burgess' final year with the Sun Devils in 2007 was his most productive as a kick returner. That year he earned the single-season record for kickoff return yards (879) while averaging 23.1 yards per return and returned one kick for a touchdown. He is also tied with Jamal Miles for the most kickoff return yards in a career with 1,517.

In addition to his career and single-season records, Burgess also holds multiple single-game records. In a 52-34 loss to Texas in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl in 2007, he returned a record eight kickoffs. Burgess also holds the record for single-game kickoff return yards (166), which he set in a 44-24 loss to USC in 2007.