Mayfield First to Win Twice; Back-to-Back
SPRINGDALE, Ark., Dec. 5, 2016 – Monday, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was named seventh winner of the Burlsworth Trophy in Springdale, Ark. at a ceremony hosted by the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club. It’s the first time that anyone has won the trophy twice, and back-to-back.
The award is given to the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on. On hand to present the trophy to Mayfield was inaugural Burlsworth Trophy winner Sean Bedford and Marty Burlsworth, founder and CEO, of The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation.
The Burlsworth Trophy Presentation ceremony was held at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center. Chuck Barrett, the “Voice of the Razorbacks,” emceed and spoke at the banquet.
Mayfield, who has thrown for 3,212 yards with 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, won the Burlsworth Trophy in 2015. In addition to earning the Burlsworth Trophy he was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year after the 2015 season. Mayfield ranks fifth in the country in touchdowns and No. 7 in yards per completion at 15.08. He threw for a school-record seven touchdowns against Texas Tech earlier this season. Mayfield went 25-2 with a state championship as a two-year high school starter and had scholarship offers from Florida Atlantic, Rice and Washington State. He instead walked on at Texas Tech, earning recognition as the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year before transferring to Oklahoma. Mayfield has been named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, given annually to the nation’s top college player and is a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.
Other finalists for the award were Austin Carr, senior receiver from Northwestern, and Luke Falk, junior quarterback from Washington State.
Carr ranks ninth in the country with 1,102 yards receiving so far this season and sixth with 12 touchdowns for the Wildcats. Carr also ranks ninth in the country with 7.5 receptions per game and he has eclipsed 125 yards receiving in six games and caught eight passes for a career-high 158 yards against Ohio State. Carr received no scholarship offers out of high school and was awarded a scholarship in 2015. Last season he averaged 18.9 yards per catch. For his career Carr has 93 catches for 1,412 yards and 12 touchdowns. Carr was the all-time rushing and scoring leader at his high school and was offered walk-on opportunities at San Diego State and TCU, before being accepted to Northwestern. He is a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the best receiver in college football.
Falk currently ranks second in the NCAA with 3,610 yards passing this season. He has thrown for 33 touchdowns, fifth-best in the country, and has been intercepted six times. Falk, who has chosen to attend Washington State as a preferred walk-on and since appearing in six games as a redshirt freshman, Falk has thrown for 10,030 yards with 84 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Falk was a Burlsworth Trophy finalist and Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American in 2015 after completing 69.4 percent of his passes for 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Cornell was Falk’s only scholarship offer out of high school. He decided to walk-on at Washington State after setting single-season records for pass attempts (562) and completions (33) in high school. Falk is a semifinalist for both the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Maxwell Award, given annually to the nation’s top college player
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 that have limited opportunities. Burlsworth’s life is also the subject of a major motion picture, “GREATER”, which was released earlier this year.