Georgia Tech Standout Lineman Named Inaugural Burlsworth Trophy Winner
Former walk-on Sean Bedford recognized for outstanding play
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Dec. 15, 2010 – Today senior offensive lineman Sean Bedford of Georgia Tech was announced the winner of the inaugural 2010 Burlsworth Trophy. The award is given to the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on. Along with Bedford, finalists included Josh McNary, Army; Nick Reveiz, Tennessee; Bryant Ward, Oklahoma State and Ryan Winterswyk, Boise State.
Bedford, a 6-1”, 281-pound senior center, was sought out by Ivy League schools for his academic abilities, but was never offered a Division I scholarship. Bedford ultimately decided on Georgia Tech for its engineering program and walked on to the Yellowjackets football team in 2006.
Bedford anchors the Yellowjackets’ offensive line and is a two-time All-ACC performer. He and his fellow linemen have paved the way for a rushing offense that ranks No. 1 in the NCAA. This year, Sporting News named the aerospace engineering major one of the 20 smartest athletes in the nation. Other accolades for Bedford include 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalist and the ACC Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week (Sept. 7). A banquet will be held in honor of Bedford on Feb. 7, 2011 in Springdale, Ark. hosted by the Springdale Rotary Club.
“I am extremely honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Burlsworth Trophy, Bedford said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Mr. Burlsworth accomplished and it is humbling to be mentioned in the same caliber with him. I would like to thank the Burlsworth family, my coaches, teammates and friends for helping me earn this award.”
“Sean is a great story, and a good example of what a young person can do if they set goals and work hard to reach those goals,” said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. “He came to Georgia Tech as a walk-on defensive lineman and three years later he is the first team All-ACC center. Sean will be extremely successful in whatever he does and he is very deserving of this award.”
The award is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. Without one Division 1 scholarship offer, 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 in the third round with 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.