2021 Trophy Winner Grant Morgan
University of Arkansas, Linebacker, SR
About Brandon
Harrison High School 0 Division I Scholarship Offers
University of Arkansas Walk-On* to All-American
Indianapolis Colts 63rd Overall Pick 1999 NFL Draft

When Brandon Burlsworth arrived on campus in 1994, he had no money, no famous last name, and absolutely no Division 1 scholarship offers.  Through his unbelievable work ethic and ceaseless determination, Brandon not only earned a scholarship, but became team captain, All-SEC 1997-1998, First Team All-SEC 1998, Football News First Team All-American in 1998, and the first All-American from the University of Arkansas in a decade.His success was not limited to the gridiron.  He was also named to the All-SEC Academic Honor Roll every year from 1995-1998, and was the first football player in the entire history of his university to earn a Masters degree “before” playing his last game.

Brandon was selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the 63rd overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft.  After minicamp, he was projected by his coaches to start as a rookie.  Unfortunately, Brandon was tragically killed in a head-on automobile collision just 11 days after the draft.

Today, The University of Arkansas has created an endowment in Brandon’s name.  They award eighteen $5,000 academic scholarships, and one $10,000 Walk-0n athletic scholarship each year.  The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation is engaged in various charitable endeavors including the provision of free eye-care to thousands of underprivileged children.

In 2010 The Burlsworth Trophy was created to honor the achievements and successes of the Walk-On athlete. It is presented annually to the Most Outstanding player who began his career as a Walk-On.

Brandon Burlsworth Foundation
Brandon Burlsworth

The Christian organization’s mission is to support the physical and spiritual needs of children. In particular those children who have limited opportunities.
The foundation encourages developing positive values, strong faith lives and a life pattern that would exemplify “Doing It The Burls Way.”
For more information go to

Burlsworth Trophy

The Burlsworth Trophy was first awarded in 2010 and is presented each year to “ College football’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on”. The trophy is presented to a young man who embodies the values that Brandon Burlsworth stood for. Brandon was a walk on football player at the University of Arkansas and completed his college career as an All-American and the 63rd overall pick in the NFL draft. He was the first razorback football player in history to complete his masters degree before playing his final college game. Tragically, he was killed in a auto accident just days after the draft. The Burlsworth Trophy is presented by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation at the annual award show each December.

Trophy sculpted by Raymond Gibby of Nobility Bronze
Selection Committee

Danny Ford

Clemson • Arkansas
National Championship 1981
National Coach of the Year 1981
9 Bowl Appearances
5 ACC Titles

Bobby Bell

College: Minnesota
2X First Team All-American 1961-62
Outland Trophy Winner 1962
Kansas City Chiefs 1963-74
Super Bowl IV Champion
NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame 1983

Ken Hatfield

Air Force • Arkansas
Clemson • Rice
National Championship 1964 (As Player)
10 Bowl Appearances
4 Conference Championships

Jim Lindsey

Arkansas • Running Back
National Championship 1964
(As Player)
Minnesota Vikings 1966-1972
Member U of A Board of Trustees
Founder Lindsey and Associates

Kurt Warner

STL Rams, NY Giants, Arizona Cardinals 1999-2009
Super Bowl Champion & MVP XXXIV
4X Pro Bowl
2X NFL Most Valuable Player
Bert Bell Award 1999
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year 2008
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2017

Sean Bedford

Inaugural Burlsworth Trophy Winner 2010
Senior Associate, Alston & Bird LLP,
Analyst, Georgia Tech Sports Network

Tommy Tice

Athletic Director Huntsville H.S.
5A State Championship 1999 (Harrison High School)
13 Conference Titles
One of the Winningest Coaches
In Arkansas HS Football History

David Baker

President & CEO
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Canton, Ohio

Dan Reeves

Den Broncos • Atl Falcons
Coached in Super Bowls XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXXIII
NFL Coach of the Year 1998
Played in Super Bowls V, VI (Winning Super Bowl VI)

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