09/26/2011 5:00 PM -
The Jacksonville Sharks announce defensive back Joe Burnett and defensive lineman Arthur Thomas have been added to the 2012 roster on Monday, September 26, 2011. Both players join the Sharks for their rookie seasons in the Arena Football League.
Joe Burnett (5'10, 185 lbs) joins the Jacksonville Sharks for his rookie season. A Florida native, Burnett was a fifth-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers after his record-breaking career as a four-year starter at the University of Central Florida. As a defensive back and return man for the Knights, Burnett was named a first-team All-American as a senior in 2008 and helped UCF to its first two bowl berths as well as the school's first ever conference championship. He earned a total of eight career All-Conference honors, including a four-year sweep of the first-team punt returner award, and was named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year as a senior. He holds both a UCF and Conference USA record for punt return yards as well as setting the UCF record with 16 career interceptions. Burnett also set UCF career records for most punt returns (96) and the most interception return yards (262) while tying the mark for most punt return touchdowns (3).
Burnett was a fifth-round draft pick (168 overall pick) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009. Burnett is the third Shark to have been drafted by the Steelers, joining quarterback Omar Jacobs and wideout Dallas Baker. Burnett also signed a contract with the New York Giants in 2010.
Arthur Thomas (6'3, 317) was a four-year starter at Arkansas Pine Bluff. A two-sport athlete, Thomas accelled as both a football player and a track and field athlete at the shotput and hammer throw events. As a four-year starter on the defensive line, Thomas saw action in 42 games for the Golden Lions. .Thomas becomes the second player on the 2012 roster from Arkansas Pine Bluff, joining offensive lineman Jason Thomas.
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season tickets for the 2012 season are now available, two tickets as low as $135. To reserve your season tickets or for more information please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and Twitter @jaxsharks and the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance