Burlsworth Trophy Announces 2019 Nominees




John Engleman, Mitchell





Burlsworth Trophy Announces Nominees

Trophy honors most outstanding Walk-On for tenth year


FAYETTEVILLE, AR., Nov. 5, 2019 – Today, the Burlsworth Trophy 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. Burlsworth’s life is also the subject of a major motion picture, “GREATER”, which was released in 2016.  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:


       School                                                                 Player                                                                              Class                     Position


Appalachian State Noel Cook SR OL
Arizona State Cristian Zendejas Soph PK
Arkansas Connor Limpert SR K
Arkansas State Blake Grupe Soph K
Auburn Will Hastings SR WR
Ball State Riley Miller SR WR
Bowling Green State David Konowalski SR DE
Brigham Young Bracken El-Bakri JR DL
Buffalo Chibueze Onwuka JR DT
California Ashtyn Davis SR S/KR
Charlotte Alex Highsmith SR DE
Clemson Patrick Phibbs SR LS
Coastal Carolina Chandler Kryst SR CB
Colorado J.T. Bale SR LS
Colorado State Barry Wesley Soph OL
East Carolina Tyler Snead Fresh WR
Eastern Michigan Hassan Beydoun Soph WR
Florida Atlantic Dante Cousart SR WR/PR
Florida State Tommy Martin Soph P
Fresno State Matt Smith JR OL
Georgia Rodrigo Blankenship SR PK
Georgia State Remy Lazarus SR S
Georgia Tech William Lay Soph OL
Hawaii Kaimana Padello SR DL
Indiana Logan Justus SR K
Iowa Brady Ross SR FB
Iowa State Collin Olson SR OL/C
Kansas State Dalton Schoen SR WR
Kent State Matt Bahr SR LB
Kentucky Blake Best SR LS
Louisiana Deuce Wallace SR DB
Louisiana Tech Cee Jay Powell JR WR
Louisville Tyler Haycraft SR OT
Marshall Tyler Brown SR LB
Massachusetts Kyle Horn SR TE
Memphis Joey Magnifico SR TE
Miami Jimmy Murphy SR RB
Michigan Jordan Glasgow SR LB
Michigan State Kenny Willekes SR DE
Minnesota Sam Renner SR DL
Mississippi Mac Brown JR P
Mississippi State Kody Schexnayder SR H/P
Missouri Dawson Downing JR RB
NC State Thayer Rockne Thomas Soph WR
Nebraska Chase Urbach SR LS
Nevada Quinton Conaway SR P
New Mexico Andrew Shelley Soph K
New Mexico State Austin Perkins SR DB
North Texas Michael Lawrence SR WR
Northern Illinois Jack Heflin JR DT
Northwestern Chris Bergin JR LB
Notre Dame Chris Finke SR WR
Ohio State CJ Saunders SR WR
Oklahoma State Matt Ammendola SR K
Old Dominion Demetrius Stitmon JR LB
Oregon State Daniel Rodriguez SR P
Penn State Jan Johnson SR LB
Pittsburgh Jimmy Morrissey JR OC
Rice Chris Barnes SR PK
Rutgers Cole Murphy SR WR/H
San Diego State Jesse Matthews Fresh WR
San Jose State Josh Love SR QB
SMU Gerrit Choate JR DE
South Carolina Parker White JR PK
USC Chase McGrath Soph PK
Stanford Ryan Beecher SR ILB
Syracuse Andre Szmyt Soph K
Temple Zack Mesday SR DE
Texas A & M Braden White JR LB
Toledo Reggie Gilliam SR TE
Troy Carlton Martial Soph LB
Tulane Merek Glover JR K
UCLA Joshua Kelley SR RB
Utah Paul Toala SR OL
Utah State Dominik Eberle SR PK
Virginia Brenton Nelson JR S
Wake Forest Jack Freudenthal SR TE
Washington Myles Bryant SR DB
Washington State Brandon Arconada SR WR
West Virginia Dante Bonamico JR S
Western Kentucky Ta’Corian Darden SR NB
Wisconsin Matt Henningsen Soph DE
Wyoming Josiah Hall SR DE

“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.



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