Burlsworth Trophy program announces a record 83 nominations
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The Burlsworth Trophy program on Tuesday (Nov. 5) announced a record 83 players nominated from Division 1 (FBS) schools from across the country for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy. In the award’s tenth year, the Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas Walk-On and All-American offensive lineman.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in American who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with FBS (D1) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.
The 2018 winner was receiver Hunter Renfrow from Clemson University. After receiving no division one scholarship offers, Renfrow walked-on at Clemson, where he had 186 receptions for 2133 yards and 15 touchdowns, four of which were in national championship games. The 2017 winner was Luke Falk, a three-year starter for Washington State, where he broke the PAC-12 record for career passing yards during his senior season. The 2015 and 2016 winner was Heisman Trophy Winner Baker Mayfield who was the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
The 2019 Burlsworth Trophy nominees are:
“This award is about the journey, the incredibly challenging journey that all of these nominees have taken,” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “When you begin your college career as a Walk-On there are plenty of skeptics, those that think you can’t do it. This group of Burlsworth Trophy nominees have proven all the skeptics wrong. They have put in an immense about of work and overcame numerous obstacles to make their dreams come true.”
Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth walked on at the University of Arkansas in 1994. He became a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft, but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities.
The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in conjunction with Springdale Rotary Club, will host an awards ceremony on December 9, 2019 in Springdale, AR to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2019 winner.