Undrafted out of Arizona State in 2012, Burfict is now recognized as one of the NFL’s top young LBs ... In his third Bengals season in 2014, after being voted to last season’s Pro Bowl and also to second-team Associated Press All-Pro spot ... Signed contract extension through 2017 on Aug. 27 … Had missed time due to concussions over Games 1-4, but returned to full action in Game 5 ... Led 2013 Bengals in tackles by margin of 94 and earned an AFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his performance in Week 11 vs. Cleveland ... Credited by coaches for exceptional natural football instincts and field awareness.
Career transactions: Signed with Cincinnati as a college free agent on 5-2-12 ... Signed contract extension with Bengals on 8-27-14.
2014 game highlights: Started at WLB for Games 1-2 and 5 Inactive (concussion) for Games 3-4 ... Sideline early by concussions in each of first two games … Has logged 18 tackles (two for loss), a forced fumble, a fumble recovery two passes defensed and two QB hits ... On Sept. 7 at Baltimore, helped seal Bengals’ first-half dominance by forcing a Bernard Pierce fumble and recovering it at Ravens 23, setting up FG for 15-0 lead … Also at Ravens, had a pass defensed and totaled four tackles (one for loss) and one QB hit ... Four tackles and one QB hit Sept. 14 vs. Atlanta ... Returned to action on Oct. 12 vs. Carolina, and ranked second on team with 10 tackles (one for-loss).
Pro Bowl participation: Made his Pro Bowl debut in the 2013 season contest, starting for victorious Team Rice ... Finished second on team in tackles (five) and intercepted an Andrew Luck pass at Team Sanders 27 in first quarter.
AFC’s best: Burfict was named by the NFL as AFC Defensive Player of Week for Nov. 17 vs. Cleveland. He had 18 total tackles and 15 solos, re-setting his team season-high in each category, and he forced a fumble by RB Chris Ogbonnaya that he returned 13 yards for a TD in the second quarter, putting the Bengals ahead 28-13.
No apprenticeship: Burfict in 2012 set a Bengals mark for most starts (14) in a rookie season by a player signed as a college free agent. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that since the 1970 merger, only two undrafted rookies had previously started as many as half of Cincinnati’s games — LB Armegis Spearman of Ole Miss (11 games in 2000) and OT Kevin Sargent of Eastern Washington (eight games in 1992).
College: Played three seasons at MLB for Arizona State (2009-11), seeing action in 37 games with 32 starts ... Totaled 228 career tackles, including 22.5 for loss, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an INT ... Played in all 13 games in 2011, with 12 starts, and logged 69 tackles, including five sacks ... Reached semifinals consideration as a junior as a candidate for Butkus Award (top college LB) ... In sophomore season in 2010, led team with a career-best 90 tackles, and also had two forced fumbles ... Earned the starting MLB spot in the fourth game of his freshman season, logging 69 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries ... Named the 2009 Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year, and was selected to several Freshman All-America lists.
Personal: Hometown is Corona, Calif. ... Attended Centennial High School, rated a national prep power, and helped lead team to No. 2 national ranking as senior ... Prep All-American, and one of most highly-rated prospects in the country as senior ... Majored in Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State, with emphasis in criminal justice and sociology ... Enjoys golf ... First name is pronounced “VONN-tez” and last name is pronounced “BER-fict” (rhymes with “perfect”).
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict ended up on the winning team Sunday in his first Pro Bowl when his early interception helped Team Rice to a 22-21 victory in Honolulu.
If you want to know where the Bengals get this new brew of take-no-prisoners resiliency, you can find it in all corners of the locker room.
St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn deflects the pass of Colts QB Andrew Luck, and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict comes up with the diving interception for Team Rice at the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict made his case as a top defender in the NFL for 2013. Check out the amazing plays by the young linebacker.