Nov. 10, 2015
University of South Carolina redshirt junior quarterback Perry Orth is one of 55 players nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, sponsored by the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club, it was announced today.
Orth came to Columbia as a walk-on to the football program in the spring of 2013 after spending the fall semester at Florida State College, a community college in Jacksonville. He began his career listed sixth on the Carolina depth chart at quarterback. He saw brief game action in both 2013 and 2014, twice earning Most Improved Quarterback honors during spring ball, before earning a scholarship and becoming the team’s starting quarterback in 2015.
This season, Orth has completed 89-of-166 passes for 1,180 yards with seven touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also carried the ball 36 times for 66 yards and a pair of scores.
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 athletics department. The Trophy is named in honor of former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth. Burlsworth’s life is also the subject of a new major motion picture, “GREATER,” which will be released in January.
“In this 6th year of the Burlsworth Trophy, I am again impressed by the quality and commitment of the athletes who have been nominated,” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “These young men represent what the Burlsworth Trophy stands for: character, hard work, dedication to a sport and to their school and above all else, a desire to excel at the highest level.”
Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth walked on at the University of Arkansas in 1994. He became 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 who have limited opportunities.
Springdale Rotary Club will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 7th in Springdale, (Ark.) to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2015 winner.