Davis, Burkett named to Athlon preseason All-America football squad

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Jun. 15—Isaiah Davis and Grant Burkett are expected to leave their marks once again this fall.

The former Joplin and Webb City products were named Monday to the 2022 Athlon Football Championship Subdivision Preseason All-America Team.

Davis, who won Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year while leading Joplin to the state championship game in 2019, was one of two running backs selected to the squad.

The junior was limited to seven games this past fall with South Dakota State due to a shoulder injury, but still managed to rack up 701 yards on 95 carries (7.4 ypc) with seven touchdowns. Davis was the Jackrabbits' leading rusher during the 2020-21 spring season, gaining 818 yards with 10 touchdowns as SDSU reached the FCS national championship game.

With Pierre Strong Jr. now in the NFL with the New England Patriots, Davis will be the Jackrabbits featured back.

Burkett has picked up where he left off at Missouri State following a decorated career at Webb City as a punter. He's coming off a consensus All-America season in 2021 where he ranked second in the nation with a school-record punting average of 46.2 per attempt, while helping the Bears rank second nationally as a team in net punting (42.81).

Now a sophomore, he had 16 punts of 50 yards or better with 15 attempts downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

In addition to being an All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first-team selection, Burkett made four FCS All-America teams in 2021, including second-team selections by the AFCA, STATS Perform and Hero Sports, and a third-team selection by the Associated Press.

Hero Sports also recognized Burkett on its 2021 Freshman All-America Team.

Davis and Burkett are just two of eight players from the Missouri Valley Football Conference named to the Athlon Preseason All-America Team, which includes just 27 individuals.