Mario Anderson Nominated for Burlsworth Trophy
University of South Carolina running back Mario Anderson is one of 73 players from Division I (FBS) schools from across the country nominated for the 2023 Burlsworth Trophy, it was announced today.
In the award’s 14th 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 in 2016. 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 without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.
Anderson, a 5-9, 208-pounder from Summerville, S.C., began his career as a walk-on at Newberry College. He worked his way into becoming a 2022 first-team Division II All-American. He joined the Gamecocks in the spring and moved into the starting lineup in the fifth week of the season. He leads Carolina with 92 rush attempts for 468 yards, a 5.1-yard per carry average, with a pair of touchdowns. He has also caught 11 passes for 80 yards and a score in his first season at the Division I level.
“Once again, a tremendous group of former walk-on players are up for the Burlsworth Trophy,” said Marty Burlsworth, President and CEO of the Burlsworth Trophy and older brother of Brandon Burlsworth. “These young men have not only shown their diligence, but they had to work extra hard just for the opportunity to contribute to their teams. They did it the Burls Way, they earned it!”
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.
The Burlsworth Trophy award ceremony to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2023 winner will be on December 4, at 7:00pm CST at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.