The Official 2011 Semi-Finalists Press Release


Burlsworth Trophy Semi-Finalists Announced

Fans can vote for their favorite player

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Nov. 22, 2011 – Today the Burlsworth Trophy committee announced the top 10 Semi-Finalists for the 2011 award. The Burlsworth Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding football player in America that began his career as a walk-on. New this year for the award, fans can vote for their favorite player.

The 2011 semi-finalists include:

Tyler Shoemaker, SR, Wide Receiver, Boise State University.  Shoemaker’s career statistics include 108 receptions and 1,837 yards.  He was named to 2011 Belitnikoff Watch List.  Through 10 games this season, he has recorded 800 receiving yards on 48 catches and has a team-high 14 TD’s for the 9th ranked Broncos.

Mike Remmers, SR, Tackle, Oregon State University.Remmers has started and anchored Oregon State’s offensive line at Tackle for four straight seasons. He was selected as co-team captain by his teammates this year, and was a 2011 pre-season All-Pac 12, 2nd Team selection.

Griff Whalen, SR, Wide Receiver, Stanford University.Whalen has been the team’s 2011 leading receiver with 47 catches for 652 yards  and four TD’s.  He has played on a team that had a 17-game winning streak and is presently ranked 4th in the BCS.

Bryant Moniz, SR, Quarterback, University of Hawaii.  A three-year starter, Moniz led the nation in passing yardage (5,040 yds./360 yds. per gm. avg.), and TD’s (39) his junior year in 2010. Moniz was named to several pre-season “Watch Lists” in 2011, including the Heisman Trophy. Through 10 games this season, Moniz had 2,733 passing yards (22 TD’s), and 492 rushing yards (eight TD’s), before suffering a season ending injury early in the game verses Nevada on Nov. 11.

Patrick Edwards, SR, Wide Receiver, University of Houston.   Edwards is the all-time leader in career receiving yards (3,903) and TD’s (34) for a presently undefeated and 8th-ranked Houston Cougar team. He has recorded  three-straight seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards (2009-2011), and presently ranks 2ndnationally in 2011. Other accolades for Edwards include 1st Team All-Conference Wide Receiver and Punt Returner (Conference USA), and a 2011 Belitnikoff Watch List member.

Steven Johnson, SR, Linebacker, University of Kansas.  As a two-year starter and team captain, Johnson led the Jayhawks in tackles both his junior and senior seasons.  In 2011, he ranks 1st in the Big 12 in total tackles, and ranks 16th nationally.

Jordan Kovacs, JR, Safety, University of Michigan.  Kovacs started 31 straight games in his three-year career, and is now one of the top safeties in the nation. Ranked second in the Big Ten in tackles (116) in 2010, Kovacs was named to the 2011 pre-season Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List and also named to the Phil Steele Mid-Season All-Big Ten Second Team.

Mike Caputo, SR, Center, University of Nebraska.  Caputo is a veteran leader and two-year starter at center for a team that has ranked in the top 15 in total offense in both 2010 and 2011.  He has also appeared on the Remington Trophy watch list in both 2010 and 2011.

Dominique Whaley, JR, Running Back, University of Oklahoma.  OU’s leading rusher after nine games despite playing in only six games (and one play in the 7th) before sustaining a season-ending injury.  He finished the 2011 season with 627 rushing yards on 113 attempts (5.5 yards/carry), nine TD’s, and 15 receptions for 153 yards (10.2 avg.).

Austin Davis, SR, Quarterback, University of Southern Mississippi. Davis is a four-year starter, starting every game except for an injury-shortened 2009 season.  His accolades include the 2008 New Orleans Bowl MVP and Freshman All-American. Davis owns every passing record in school history, surpassing Brett Favre in many categories.  Records owned by Davis include: yardage (10,171), TD passes (75), efficiency (135.66), completion percentage (61.95), and total offense (11,453).

Fan Vote – Fans will be allowed to vote for their favorite player via the AT&T Fan Vote beginning today, Nov. 22 at Voting will begin with the top 10 semi-finalists and continue as the selection committee announces the top three Burlsworth Trophy finalists on Nov. 29. Fans are limited to one vote per day and the voting will conclude Dec. 6. The winner of The Burlsworth Trophy will be announced Dec. 9 at a banquet in Springdale, Ark. sponsored by the Springdale Rotary Club.

The Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth. Without any Division 1 scholarship offer, Brandon walked on to the Razorbacks team in 1994, worked his way to being 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 that have limited opportunities.