Amari Burney was the Gators’ hero on Saturday night


Amari Burney is the reason why the nation was talking all about the Florida Gators on Saturday night. There were 22 seconds left on the clock inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. It was third and goal from the six-yard line, the Utes were knocking on the door, trailing 29-26.  Cam Rising dropped back to pass before firing a bullet to Dalton Kincaid that was picked off by a diving Amari Burney. The game-sealing interception was one of the most electrifying moments in Gator football history. 

“We were basically in man coverage,” Burney said. “I’m the Rat. I read the quarterback’s eyes, he threw the ball, I just knew I had to come up with it. I played receiver, so it was really easy to catch the ball.” 

“We were yelling at each other that somebody has to make a play right now and it just happened to be me,” Burney said. “Coach called a very good defense at that time, and I came up with the play. Shout out to Coach [Patrick Toney].”

Burney explains what it was like after he realized he intercepted the ball. 

“It felt great,” Burney said. “I really couldn’t hear anything, my ears were ringing, I had a headache, people were trying to tackle me. I was trying to get away from them, that’s why I was running all the way down the field.”

Burney was grateful to have the trust from his coaches and players to make that play.

“It means a lot to me, just knowing that the coaches trust in me,” Burney said. “B Cox (Brenton Cox) actually trust in me. B cox told me it’s time for you to step up right now, you got to make a play. Shout-out B cox for getting in my ear a little bit and getting me rowdied up.”

“I mean, it means a lot for coach Napier to come in, coach PT (Patrick Toney), coach Bateman to come in, and just trust me with the opportunity for me to be on that field in that clutch moment,” Burney said. 

Defensive lineman Gervon Dexter commented on Burney’s game- winning interception after the game. 

“That was electric as well and obviously a great play by [Amari] Burney,” Dexter said. “He’s a senior who knows what to do and where to be and he knows how to make big plays.”

Defensive lineman Tyreak Sapp said, “It was one of those electrifying moments in college football.”

Billy Napier spoke very highly of Amari Burney after Saturday’s game.

“Amari Burney is one of my favorite players on the team, Napier said. “I think this is his sixth year. He’s really played like 1600 snaps here and I call him an old man all the time. We are thankful for Amari. He’s got character. He’s a great communicator. He makes other players around him better. He’s a guy who really has risen to the occasion, in terms of that position and what we need from that position. That’s one of the things that I was describing earlier. To see that guy make a play, I think that’s a special moment for that locker room because they love Amari Burney. For that guy to make a play, I think that’s pretty special.”

Burney is a player that has been through a lot at the University of Florida. For him to be able to kickstart the Gators season with a game-clinching interception, that’s pretty special. 

Burney just solidified himself a spot in Gators’ history, but he’s all business now. 

“Coach gives us 24 hours, so we going to have a little bit of fun tonight,” Burney said. “It’s just tomorrow when we watch the film after about 6:30 pm. It’s time to lock in and go onto Kentucky.”

Burney left us with a quote from Kobe Bryant.

“Job ain’t finished.”


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.