Neck injury shelves LB Julian Burnett

Updated: March 26, 2012, 10:59 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech linebacker Julian Burnett, the Yellow Jackets' leading tackler in each of the last two seasons, is likely to miss the 2012 season with a neck injury, which might end up ending his football career.

"He's probably not going to play," Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson told reporters after his team's first practice of the spring on Monday. "I'm sure it's really tough on him. He loves football. He's a heck of a competitor and a great football player, but there are bigger things in life than football. You have to be safe."

Burnett, from Macon, Ga., was injured in the Yellow Jackets' 30-27 loss in overtime to Utah in the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl. He led the Yellow Jackets with 120 tackles last season and had 9½ tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. He also led Tech with 89 tackles in eight starts in 2010.

Burnett, a second team All-ACC selection in 2011, was a team captain last season.

Johnson told reporters Burnett would be placed on a medical scholarship, making him ineligible to play this coming season, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball