Plaxico Antonio Burress (pronounced /ˈplɛksɪkoʊ ˈbɜrəs/ pleks-i-koh; born August 12, 1977 in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American football wide receiver. He has played in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. He served a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to weapons charges.
Burress set a Big Ten Conference single-season record by catching 65 passes in his first season at Michigan State, and also excelled on the special-teams coverage units, using his outstanding leaping ability as a kick blocker. He ranks second in career touchdown catches (20), third in receptions (131), and fourth in receiving yards (2,155) in just two seasons at Michigan State University. He was an All-American second-team selection by SportsPage.com and an All-Big Ten Conference first-team pick in 1999. Burress broke his own school season-record that he set in 1998 (65 catches) with 66 receptions for 1,142 yards (17.3 avg) and 12 touchdowns. He established Spartans' single-season-record 12 touchdown receptions, eclipsing the previous record of eight that Burress shared (1998) with Andre Rison (1988) and Bob Carey (1949). He forced two fumbles, recovered one fumble, and registered seven tackles (five solos) on special teams. Burress then set a school record with 255 yards receiving on ten catches against the University of Michigan. He finally closed out his career with a school-record 13 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns against the University of Florida in the 2000 Citrus Bowl. He also broke the single-game record of 12 receptions set by tight end Mitch Lyons in 1992. In 1996, he caught 33 passes for 807 yards (24.5 avg.) and 12 touchdowns. Burress was an All–Big Ten Conference first-team selection in 1998 by The Sports Network, and he earned second-team accolades from the league's media. He shared Spartan Outstanding Underclass Back Award honors with tailback Sedrick Irvin and wide receiver Gari Scott. Also, he started All Year at split end and established a school season-record with 65 receptions, topping the previous mark of 60 catches by Courtney Hawkins in 1989. He had more than 100 yards receiving in four games and is ranked third in the conference with an average of 84.4 yards per game and fifth in the conference with an average of 5.4 catches per game. He recorded six solo tackles and forced a fumble on special teams.
After being drafted eighth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, Burress went on to play five years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, amassing 261 receptions for 4,164 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six fumbles over the span of 71 games. Burress was featured on the MTV show True Life, documenting his rookie season. He first broke the 1,000-yard mark in his second season, gaining 1,008 yards on 66 receptions. Burress's best season with the Steelers came in 2002, when he set his career highs for receptions (78) and yards (1,325), to go along with seven touchdowns. Also in 2002, Burress played in his first career playoff game, accumulating six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. In three subsequent playoff games with the Steelers, Burress totaled only seven receptions, 123 yards, and one touchdown.