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FOOTBALL: Burroughs grad Eben Britton readies for second NFL season.

September 10, 2010|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

In a very short time, Eben Britton has made himself a starter in the NFL.

In his rookie season in 2009, Britton — a Burroughs High graduate — was named the starting right tackle prior to the final preseason game. He started in 15 of the team's 16 games and recovered a fumble in a game against the New England Patriots.

Britton was one of three rookies to start 15-plus games for the Jaguars in 2009, joining Derek Cox (16) and Terrance Knighton (16). His starts were the third-most by a rookie offensive tackle in franchise history. In addition, he started the season-opener at the Indianapolis Colts, joining Eugene Monroe as the first pair of rookie tackles to start on opening day in the NFL since 1982 when Luis Sharpe and Tootie Robbins started for the St. Louis Cardinals.

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In a game Nov. 11 at the Tennessee Titans he helped pave the way for a season-high 217 rushing yards on only 16 carries (13.6 avg.). When he made his 15th start of the season on Jan. 3 against the Cleveland Browns, it was the most by a rookie offensive lineman since 2001. He ended up seeing time at all five offensive line positions.

Last season, Jacksonville began the season with a 7-5 record with four games remaining and was well within playoff contention for a wild-card spot. However, the Jaguars proceeded to lose their remaining four contests, ending with a 7-9 showing and missing the playoffs in the AFC Conference.

In his second season with the team, Britton, who is 6-fet-6, 310 pounds, missed some time in training camp and preseason games with injuries. However, he is expected to be in the lineup Sunday when the Jaguars open the season with a game at the Denver Broncos.

Taken in the second round with the 39th overall pick, Britton declared for the 2009 NFL Draft as a junior after starting 37 games in three seasons at the University of Arizona.

On Aug. 1, 2009, the Jaguars signed Britton to a four-year deal worth approximately $4.6 million that includes $2.83 million guaranteed.

The 2005 Burroughs graduate — who was named the 2005 Leader Male Athlete of the Year — was an iron man for Arizona, as Britton started all 37 games during his three-year tenure and never missed a game because of injury with the Wildcats.

Britton was named the Foothill League Lineman of the Year at Burroughs in 2004. He also earned All-Area accolades for the second straight season, participated in the prestigious CaliFlorida All-Star game in Miami and was one of the nation's top prep stars, earning Cal-Hi Sports All-State second-team honors.

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