Burkett, who has started all 39 games Northwestern has played in the last three seasons, is one of 14 players returning from the 2010 Rimington watch list. He is one of six Big Ten centers to make the cut.
Burkett's play helped helped Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa earn first-team All-Big Ten accolades from the league's coaches. With Persa directing the Wildcat offense in the season's first 10 games, Northwestern went 7-3 and was averaging over 410 yards of total offense per game.
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in the NCAA's FBS Division. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2 million for its benefactor, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The 12-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $86 million for CF Research.
Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.