Mississippi State’s Ben Beckwith named finalist for Burlsworth Trophy

Ben Beckwith (Mississippi
State University)

Ben Beckwith came to Mississippi State as a walk-on from Benton, Miss., who wasn’t even rated by Rivals.com. four years later, he’s an All-SEC candidate at offensive guard for the 10-1 Bulldogs.

On Tuesday, the 6-foot-3, 306-pound Beckwith was named one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, presented each year to the most outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

Beckwith made the final three by winning the fan vote, collecting 39 percent of the more than 31,000 votes cast. The other finalists are East Carolina receiver Justin Hardy, who received the second-most fan votes with 25 percent, and Iowa running back Mark Weisman.

The other two finalists will be announced today and fan voting in the final round will begin at 2 p.m. at www.burlsworthtrophy.com. The fan vote counts for 5 percent of the final tabulations. The trophy will be awarded on Dec. 8 at a ceremony in Springdale, Ark.

The other semifinalists were: Kansas State linebacker Jonathan Truman, Marshall center Chris Jasperse, Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin, North Carolina receiver Mack Hollins, Notre Dame linebacker Joe Schmidt, Stanford defensive tackle David Parry and Utah State linebacker Zach Vigil.

The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former Arkansas walk-on who became a three-year starter and an 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, formed in his memory, supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, particularly those with limited opportunities.

Previous winners include Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis in 2013, Penn State’s Matt McGloin in 2012, Southern Miss’ Austin Davis in 2011 and Georgia Tech’s Sean Bradford in 2010.

View the original article at al.com