The Official 2012 Nominations Press Release


Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder, Burlsworth Foundation
Whitney Gaines, Mitchell Communications Group

Burlsworth Trophy Announces Nominees

Trophy honors outstanding current and former walk-ons for third year

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Nov. 13, 2012 – Today, The Burlsworth Trophy and the presenting sponsor, the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club, are excited to announce the 50 players nominated for The Burlsworth Trophy. The 2012 list includes team captains, All-Conference selections, and national statistical leaders from every conference in the nation.

The Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in America 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 D1 (FBS) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.

The 2011 winner was quarterback, Austin Davis from the University of Southern Mississippi. In his four-year career at USM, Davis amassed 10,727 passing yards, 81 touchdown passes and 12,082 yards in total offense. Davis was drafted this year and is now a reserve quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. The inaugural recipient in 2010 was two-time All-ACC center Sean Bedford from Georgia Tech.

The 2012 Burlsworth Trophy nominees are:

Player Class Position School
Kevin Ozier SR Wide Receiver Arizona State University
Cole Lorigan SR Safety Arkansas State University
Jamill Smith JR Wide Receiver Ball State University
Ezekiel Ansah SR Defensive Line Brigham Young University
Chandler Catanzaro JR Place Kicker Clemson University
James Skelton SR Linebacker Colorado State University
Garrett Rider JR Safety Duke University
Tristan Okpalaugo SR Outside Linebacker Fresno State University
B.J. Finney Soph Offensive Line Kansas State University
B.J. Finney Soph Offensive Line Kansas State University
Norman Wolfe SR Cornerback Kent State University
Jeremiah Taylor JR Defensive End Marshall University
Anthony Amos SR Wide Receiver Middle Tennessee State University
Chris Salvi SR Safety Notre Dame
Keith Moore JR Linebacker Ohio University
Bryson Rose SR Place Kicker Ole Miss
Andrew Seumalo SR Defensive Tackle Oregon State University
Matt McGloin SR Quarterback Pennsylvania State University
Jamael Thomas SR Defensive Tackle Rice University
Michael Burton Soph Fullback Rutgers University
David Quessenberry SR Offensive Tackle San Jose State University
Joel Hasley Soph Linebacker Texas Christian University
Andrew Abbott SR Strong Safety UCLA
Carson Tinker SR Deep Snapper University of Alabama
Trey Clark SR Offensive Line University of South Alabama
Jared Tevis Soph Safety University of Arizona
Dylan Breeding SR Punter University of Arkansas
Kyle Negrete SR Punter University of Southern California
Ryan Iverson JR Deep Snapper University of Colorado
Johnny McEntee SR Quarterback University of Connecticut
Shane Ros JR Wide Receiver University of Houston
Bobby Cowan SR Punter University of Idaho
Mike Meyer JR Place Kicker University of Iowa
Craig McIntosh SR Place Kicker University of Kentucky
Alex Kupper SR Offensive Tackle University of Louisville
Mitchell Bailey SR Running Back University of Louisiana at Monroe
Mitch Huelsing SR Defensive Back University of Memphis
Jordan Kovacs JR Safety University of Michigan
Max Copeland JR Offensive Line University of Missouri
Spencer Long JR Offensive Guard University of Nebraska
Matt Raymer SR Strong Safety University of New Mexico
Pete Mangum SR Defensive Back University of North Carolina
Dominique Whaley SR Running Back University of Oklahoma
Alex King SR Punter University of Texas
J. Lindeman SR Offensive Line University of Toledo
Jared St. John SR Defensive End University of Tulsa
Jared Abbrederis JR Wide Receiver University of Wisconsin
Devon Walker SR Safety Tulane University
McKade Brady SR Free Safety Utah State
Spencer Bishop JR Tight End Wake Forest University
Eric Monette SR Wide Receiver Western Michigan University

“We are extremely proud of this group of nominees for the 2012 Burlsworth Trophy,” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and brother of Brandon. “All of these young men have worked very hard to get to where they are. The stories behind these players are incredible and they are all winners in my book.”

Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth 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 that have limited opportunities.

Springdale Rotary Club will host a banquet on Dec. 3 in Springdale, Ark. to honor the finalists and to announce the 2012 winner.

For more information about the Burlsworth Trophy, visit