The Big Ten is full of great players who started their collegiate careers as walk-ons. And this season, there’s a chance one of them could get some hardware for their play.
The Burlsworth Trophy selection committee on Tuesday announced the 10 semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, and four Big Ten players were on the list — Northwestern WR Austin Carr, Wisconsin RB Dare Ogunbowale, Nebraska C Dylan Utter and Indiana WR/KR Mitchell Paige.
Awarded annually to “college football’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on,” the trophy is named for former Arkansas lineman Brandon Burlsworth, who became an All-American after walking on with the Razorbacks. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft, but was killed in a car accident less than two weeks later.
The Burlsworth Trophy is in its seventh season, and two Big Ten players have won it before. Penn State QB Matt McGloin in 2012 and Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis in 2013.
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, last year’s winner, is among this year’s semifinalists, as well.
Fans are allowed to vote for the award, with the overall fan vote accounting for five percent of the final vote. To cast a vote, click here.