Hurst Nominated for Burlsworth Trophy
Nov. 1, 2016
University of South Carolina sophomore tight end Hayden Hurst is one of 52 players nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club announced today.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in American who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with a FBS (D1) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.
Hurst, a 6-5, 250-pound former professional baseball player, has been a consistent go-to guy this season. The 23-year-old sophomore leads the team with 32 catches for 406 yards, with at least five receptions in four games and at least 80 yards in three contests. He is tied for ninth in the SEC with 4.0 receptions per game.
In the award’s seventh year, the Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. Burlsworth’s life is also the subject of a major motion picture, “GREATER”, which was released earlier this year.
“This is the seventh year of the Burlsworth Trophy and once again we have a very strong group of nominees,” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “All of these young men have worked extremely hard and have overcome tremendous obstacles to become the players they are today.”
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. 5 to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2016 winner.