The 2011 Scouting Report: Named to the Rimington Trophy (nation's top center) watch list for a third straight year ... Also a candidate for the 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award (presented annually to the nation's top lineman) ... Named a Phil Steele's preseason fourth-team All-Big Ten selection ... As he continues to add strength and size, combined with his improved footwork, coaching staff says he could become a special football player ... Very athletic and possesses a perfect demeanor for his position ... Has started 39 consecutive games (which ties Al Netter for team's current longest consecutive start streak).
2011: After starting 39 consecutive games at center and earning a spot on the Rimington preseason watch list, was moved to right guard during preseason camp ... Closed career with an NU-record 52 career starts (the last 13 at right guard) ... He and Al Netter share NU's career record for most starts (52) and consecutive starts (52).
2010: Started all 13 games ... Third year as NU's starting center ... Named to Rimington Trophy watch for a second straight year ... Helped NU quarterback Dan Persa be named the league's first-team All-Big Ten QB by the Big Ten coaches ... Named the team's Offensive Player of the Game vs. Illinois State and at Penn State.
2009: In his second year as NU's starting center ... Started all 13 games ... His play helped Northwestern lead the Big Ten in passing offense (286.5 ypg), and rank 13th nationally ... NU averaged more than 400 yards in total offense for the fourth time in the past six years ... 2009 Rimington Trophy watch list.
2008: Started all 13 games at center ... Named a Phil Steele's third-team All-Freshman selection ... ESPN.com first-team All-Big Ten Freshman team honoree ... Recipient of team's NGN Offensive Newcomer of the Year Award ... Started first career game vs. Syracuse ... Named NU's offensive player of the week at Indiana ... Earned team's offensive player of the game honors (collectively with entire O-line) vs. Syracuse.
2007: Did not see action.
High School:Velocity/PrepStar All-Region offensive lineman ... Ranked 166th-best offensive tackle nationally by ESPN/Scouts, Inc. ... Two-time all-state, three-time all-district and three-time all-city honoree ... Selected to play in Ohio's North-South All-Star game ... Helped the Titans to back-to-back 8-3 records in 2005 and '06, and appearances in the Ohio state playoffs ... Team captain ... Also lettered in baseball, playing first base ... Regular on school's Honor Roll ... Coached by Doug Pearson.
Personal: Born Benjamin James Burkett ... Son of Jim and Susan Burkett ... Grandfather, Ernest Berg, played baseball at Arizona ... Economics major.