Burlsworth Trophy Announces Nominees
Trophy honors most outstanding walk-on for seventh year

FAYETTEVILLE, AR, Nov. 1, 2016 – Today, the Burlsworth Trophy and the Springdale (AR) Rotary Club announce the 52 players nominated from Division 1 (FBS) schools from across the country for the 2016 Burlsworth Trophy. In the award’s seventh year, the Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas Walk-On and All-American offensive lineman. Burlsworth’s life is also the subject of a major motion picture, “GREATER”, which was released earlier this year. 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 a FBS (D1) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.

The 2015 winner was quarterback Baker Mayfield from the University of Oklahoma. Mayfield is believed to be the only true freshman Walk-On QB in FBS history to start a season opener. He also led his Sooners to the college football playoffs last year.

The 2016 Burlsworth Trophy nominees are:

Arizona State Mitchell Fraboni JR Long Snapper
Arkansas Toby Baker SR Punter
Arkansas State Johnston White JR Running Back
Bowling Green Trent Greene SR Linebacker
Brigham Young University Parker Dawe SR Offensive Lineman
Clemson Greg Huegel Soph Placekicker
Colorado State Jakob Buys JR Defensive Lineman
Connecticut Justin Wain SR Punter
Eastern Michigan Blake Banham Soph Running Back/Kick Returner
Florida Mark Herndon SR Running Back
Florida Atlantic Nate Ozdemir JR Linebacker
Houston Dillon Birden JR Running Back
Indiana Mitchell Paaige SR Wide Receiver
Iowa Riley McCarron SR Wide Receiver
Iowa State Trever Ryen JR Wide Receiver/Punt Returner
Kansas State Nick Walsh JR Punter
Kent State Nick Cuthbert SR Linebacker
LSU John David (J. D.) Moore JR Fullback
Marshall Cody Carter SR Safety
Memphis Anthony Miller JR Wide Receiver
Miami Justin Vogel SR Punter
Middle Tennessee Steven Rhodes SR Defensive End
Nebraska Dylan Utter SR Center
Nevada Jeremy Macauley SR Offensive Lineman
New Mexico Jake Rothschiller JR Defensive Back
North Carolina Nick Weiler SR Placekicker
Northwestern Austin Carr SR Wide Receiver
Oklahoma Baker Mayfield JR Quarterback
Old Dominion T. J. Ricks SR Linebacker
Ole Miss Carlos Davis SR Cornerback
Oregon State Devin Chappell SR Safety
Rice Zach Wright SR Wide Receiver
San Diego State Daniel Brunskill SR Offensive Tackle
San Jose State Tim Crawley SR Wide Receiver/Kick Returner
South Carolina Hayden Hurst Soph Tight End
SMU Jackson Mitchell SR Linebacker
Stanford Conrad Ukropina SR Placekicker
Temple Haason Reddick SR Defensive Lineman
Tennessee Colton Jumper JR Linebacker
Texas Dylan Haines SR Safety
Texas A&M Shane Tripucka JR Punter
Toledo Jack Linch JR Linebacker
Tulsa Dalton Parks SR Punter
UCLA Mike Lafaul SR Quarterback
USC Zach Smith SR Long Snapper
Utah State Austin Albrecht SR Offensive Tackle
Wake Forest Grant Dawson JR Linebacker
Washington State Luke Falk JR Quarterback
Western Kentucky Max Halpin SR Center
Western Michigan Trevor Sweeney SR Wide Receiver
Wisconsin Dare Ogunbowle SR Running Back

“This is the seventh year of the Burlsworth Trophy and once again we have a very strong group of nominees” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “All of these young men have worked extremely hard and have overcome tremendous obstacles to become the players they are today.”

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.

Springdale Rotary Club will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 5th in Springdale, AR to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2016 winner.