Official 2014 Nominations Press Release


Burlsworth Trophy Announces Nominees

Trophy honors outstanding walk-on for fifth year

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Nov. 11, 2014 – Today, the Burlsworth Trophy and the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club announced the 55 players nominated from Division 1 (FBS) schools from across the country for the 2014 Burlsworth Trophy. In the award’s fifth year, the Trophy honors Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. The award will be given to the collegiate player who began their career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Nominees must have begun their first season of participation with a D1 football program without financial aid of any kind from their athletic department.

The 2013 winner was receiver Jared Abbrederis from the University of Wisconsin. In his four-year career, Abbrederis amassed 3,110 receiving yards on 197 catches, with 23 touchdowns in his Wisconsin career.

The 2014 Burlsworth Trophy nominees are:

School Player Year Position
Arizona Jared Tevis SR Safety
Arizona State Jordan Simone JR Safety
Arkansas Alan D’Appollonio SR Snapper
Arkansas State Johnston White JR Running Back
Baylor Collin Brence SR Linebacker
Bowling Green Ryan Burbrink JR Wide Receiver
Brigham Young Scott Arellano SR Punter
California Stephen Anderson JR Wide Receiver
Central Florida Brandon Alexander SR Def. Back
Central Michigan Justin Cherocci SR LineBacker
Clemson Michael Sobeski SR Snapper
Colorado Darragh O’Neill SR Punter
Colorado State Kevin O’Brien JR Center
East Carolina Justin Hardy SR Inside Receiver
Florida Atlantic Jenson Stoshak JR Wide Receiver
Georgia Southern Edwin Jackson SR Linebacker
Houston Kyle Bullard JR Kicker
Idaho Ton Hennessey SR Safety
Indiana Collin Rahrig SR Center/Guard
Iowa Mark Weisman SR Running Back
Kansas State Jonathan Truman SR Linebacker
Kent State Casey Pierce SR Tight End
LSU Connor Neighbors SR Fullback
Marshall Chris Jasperse SR Center
Memphis Brandon Hayes SR Running Back
Miami Nantambu-Akil Fentress SR Def. Back
Michigan State Jack Conklin SO Off. Tackle
Mississippi State Ben Beckwith SR Guard
Nebraska Trevor Roach SR Linebacker
New Mexico Zack Rogers JR Punter
North Carolina Mack Hollins SO Wide Receiver
Notre Dame Joe Schmidt SR Linebacker
Oklahoma Aaron Ripkowski SR Fullback
Old Dominion Tyler Compton SO Off. Lineman
Oregon State Keith Kostol SR Punter
Rice Matt Simonette SR Center
Rutgers Michael Burton SR Fullback
San Diego State Joel Alesi SR Punter
SMU Stephen Nelson SR Wide Receiver
South Alabama Qudarius Ford SR Cornerback
South Carolina Elliott Fry SO Placekicker
Stanford David Parry SR Def. Tackle
Syracuse Riley Dixon SR Punter
Texas A&M Joshua Lambo SR Placekicker
Texas @ San Antonio Sean Ianno SR Placekicker
Texas State Charlie Will Tuttle SR Off. Guard
Toledo Drake Fletcher SR Linebacker
UCLA Librado Barocio SR Def. Back
UConn Justin Wain SO Punter
Utah Andy Phillips SO Kicker
Utah State Utah State SR Linebacker
Wake Forest Hunter Williams JR Linebacker
Washington State Cyrus Coen SR Linebacker
West Virginia Michael Molinari SR Punter
Wisconsin Marcus Trotter SR Linebacker

“As we enter our 5th year of the Burlsworth Trophy, I am again impressed by the quality of committed athletes that have been selected,” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “They each represent what the Burlsworth Trophy stands for: hard work, dedication to a sport and to their school and above all else, a commitment to excel at the highest level.”

Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth walked on to the Razorback 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 who have limited opportunities.

Springdale Rotary Club will host a banquet on Dec. 8th in Springdale, Ark. to honor the finalists and to announce the 2014 winner.

For more information about the Burlsworth Trophy, visit