Burlsworth Trophy Announces Semifinalists

Burlsworth Trophy Announces Semifinalists



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Nov. 7, 2023 – Today, the Burlsworth Trophy selection committee announces the top 10 semifinalists for the 2023 award. The Burlsworth Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on. Brandon Burlsworth’s life is also the subject of a major motion picture, “GREATER”, which was released nationally in 2016. 

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 semifinalists include:


School Name Position Year
Arizona State B.J. Green III DL JR
Iowa Joe Evans DL SR
James Madison James Carpenter G JR
Kansas State Austin Moore LB SR
Missouri Cody Schrader RB SR
Oklahoma Drake Stoops WR SR
Oklahoma State Jake Springfield OT SR
South Florida Sean Atkins WR JR
Utah Bryson Barnes QB JR
Washington State Kyle Thornton LB JR




The selection committee will announce the top three Burlsworth Trophy finalists on November 14. Finalists will be honored and the winner of the 2023 Burlsworth Trophy will be announced on December 4 at 7:00pm CST at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.


The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth. Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon 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.


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