Finalists Announced for 2013 Burlsworth Trophy

Finalists Announced for 2013 Burlsworth Trophy

Football standouts from Wisconsin, Missouri, Tulsa, selected among final three

SPRINGDALE, Ark., Nov. 26, 2013 –Three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy have been selected for the award to honor the nation’s top collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on. Finalists are Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, Missouri guard Max Copeland and Tulsa running back Trey Watts.

The three finalists were chosen from an initial list of 53 nominees, which had been narrowed down to 10 semifinalists last week. The 2013 Burlsworth Trophy winner will be announced Monday, Dec. 9, at a ceremony in Springdale, Ark. The winner will join Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin (2012), Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis (2011) and Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford (2010) as recipients of the award.

The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on. A walk-on is defined as a player who began his first season of participation with a Division I (FBS) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.

Fans are allowed to vote for their favorite player via the Fan Vote at Fans are limited to one vote per day, and the voting will conclude Wednesday, Dec. 4, at midnight CST. The Fan Vote counts as 5 percent during each round of voting, and it is combined with the results from the Selection Committee. Fan Vote totals are cleared after each round. The 2013 finalists are:

Jared Abbrederis
Senior, Wide Receiver, Wisconsin

Jared is the leading receiver for the Badgers, helping them to a 9-2 record and second place in the Big Ten. He has 61 receptions for 916 yards and seven touchdowns, leading the team by wide margins in all three categories. He has also run six times for 119 yards and two touchdowns. He is fourth in the Big Ten in both receptions and yards. Jared is a mid-season top 5 pick for the Biletnikoff Award, honoring the nation’s top receiver. As a junior, he led the Badgers and ranked third in the Big Ten with 837 receiving yards and became the second player in school history with three consecutive 100-yard receiving games. As a sophomore, Jared was named honorable mention All-American punt returner, ranking third in the nation. He was also a consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten wide receiver, leading his team with 933 yards. Jared is a three-time nominee and two-time semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy.

Max Copeland
Senior, Guard, Missouri

Max is a big reason for the turnaround season for Missouri, which is 10-1 overall, 6-1 in the SEC, and ranked fifth in the latest BCS standings. Max has been an anchor on the offensive line, helping Missouri to rank 17th in the nation in total offense (491 ypg), 18th in rushing offense (238 ypg) and 13th in points per game (39.7). Max spent three years on the scout team before getting his chance to play as a junior in 2012, when he started 11 games. After the season he was given the Unsung Hero Award for his outstanding dedication to the program. Max is also thriving in the classroom as physics major. Despite living in Montana, Max chose to walk on to the Tigers since his father is a Missouri graduate.

Trey Watts
Senior, Running Back, Tulsa

It has been a difficult year for the 3-8 Golden Hurricanes, but it would be much worse without Trey, who ranks 13th in the nation with 1,215 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He has also caught 46 passes for 395 yards and another score, helping him to rank sixth in the nation with 174.5 all-purpose yards per game. He also ranks second in school history with more than 5,500 all-purpose yards. Trey began the year being named to the watch lists for the Doak Walker, Maxwell and Paul Hornung awards. Trey burst onto the scene as a sophomore, leading his team with 1,629 all-purpose yards. His junior year, he earned All Conference USA second-team honors as a kick returner and honorable mention as a running back. He also was named MVP of the CUSA Championship Game and the Liberty Bowl. Trey is the son of former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback and Oklahoma Rep. J. C. Watts.

The Burlsworth Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to the Arkansas Razorbacks 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 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.

For more information about the Burlsworth Trophy, visit