Burlsworth Trophy Announces Nominees

Burlsworth Trophy Announces Nominees 

Trophy honors most outstanding former Walk-On for fourteenth year 


FAYETTEVILLE, AR, Oct. 31, 2023 – Today, the Burlsworth Trophy announced 73 players nominated from Division 1 (FBS) schools from across the country for the 2023 Burlsworth Trophy. In the award’s fourteenth 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 2022 winner was quarterback Stetson Bennett from the University of Georgia. After earning MVP honors in the CFP Championship game win against Alabama in 2022, Stetson had another banner season in his final year in Athens. He was named the offensive MVP of the CFP Championship game, where Georgia beat TCU, 65-7 to remain undefeated on the year and win the National Championship. Bennett tied former LSU Tiger Joe Burrow for most total touchdowns in a CFP Championship game with 6. He finished the season with 4,127 passing yards, establishing the new program record.

The 2023 Burlsworth Trophy nominees are:



School Class Player Position
App State JR Jackson Greene S
Arizona JR Treydan Stukes CB
Arizona State JR B.J. Green III DL
Arkansas SR Hudson Clark DB
Arkansas State JR Charles Willekes LB
Auburn SR Jake Levant LB
Boise State SR Tyler Crowe RB
Bowling Green SR Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim WR
Buffalo SR Alex McNulty K
BYU Soph Ethan Slade S
California RSF Jack Endries TE
Colorado JR Michael Harrison TE
Eastern Michigan SR Tanner Knue WR
Florida Soph Kahleil Jackson WR
Florida Atlantic Soph Tony Johnson WR
Fresno State SR Morice Norris Jr NKL
Georgia Soph Mekhi Mews WR/RET
Georgia State SR Seth Glausier LS
Georgia Tech Soph Joe Fusile OL
Hawaii SR Andrew Choi DL
Illinois JR Tip Reiman TE
Indiana SR Trey Walker TE
Iowa SR Joe Evans DL
Iowa State Soph Caleb Bacon LB
James Madison JR James Carpenter G
Kansas State SR Austin Moore LB
Kansas JR Jared Casey TE
Kent State JR Andrew Glass PK
Louisiana JR Landon Burton C
LSU SR Josh Williams RB
Michigan JR Max Bredeson TE
Minnesota SR Dragan Kesich K
Mississippi State JR Hayes Hammond LS
Missouri SR Cody Schrader RB
Nebraska SR Phalen Sanford S
Northern Illinois JR Jaden Dolphin LB
Notre Dame SR Michael Vinson LS
Ohio State Soph Brenton Jones S
Oklahoma SR Drake Stoops WR
Oklahoma State SR Jake Springfield OT
Old Dominion JR Isiah Paige WR/KR/PR
Oregon JR Bryce Boettcher ILB
Oregon State JR Tanner Miller OL
Penn State Soph Dominic DeLuca LB
Purdue Soph Devin Mockobee RB
Rice SR Chike Anigbogu LB/S
Rutgers SR Christian Dremel WR
San Diego State SR Jack Browning K/P
South Alabama Soph Jamaal Pritchett WR
South Carolina SR Mario Anderson RB
South Florida JR Sean Atkins WR
Stanford SR Spencer Jorgensen LB
Syracuse JR Kevon Darton DL
TCU SR Griffin Kell PK
Tennessee SR Matthew Salansky LS
Texas Soph Michael Taaffe S
Texas A & M SR Sam Mathews DB
Texas Tech SR Dennis Wilburn OL
Toledo SR Adam Beale WR
Troy JR Keyshawn Swanson S
Tulane SR Casey Glover KS/H/P
UCF SR Alec Holler TE
UCLA SR Alex Johnson DB
USC Soph Denis Lynch PK
Utah JR Bryson Barnes QB
Utah State JR Elliott Nimrod PK
Virginia SR Coen King CB
Wake Forest Soph Nick Andersen DB
Washington State JR Kyle Thornton LB
West Virginia Soph Preston Fox WR/PR/KOR
Western Kentucky SR Bryson Washington LB
Wisconsin SR Peter Bowden LS
Wyoming JR John Hoyland PK


“Once again, a tremendous group of former walk-on players are up for the Burlsworth Trophy”, said Marty Burlsworth, President and CEO of the Burlsworth Trophy and older brother of Brandon Burlsworth. “These young men have not only shown their diligence, but they had to work extra hard just for the opportunity to contribute to their teams. They did it the Burls Way, they earned it!”


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 Burlsworth Trophy award ceremony to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2023 winner will be on December 4, at 7:00pm CST at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.


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