Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Clemson's Renfrow wins Burlsworth Trophy
NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK Marty Burlsworth, founder of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, (left) with Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow after Renfrow won the 2018 Burlsworth Trophy in Springdale.
SPRINGDALE Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow won the Burlsworth Trophy on Monday as college football's best player to begin his career as a walk-on.
Renfrow has caught 43 passes for 472 yards and a touchdown this season for the No. 2 Tigers (13-0), who will play Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29 in one of two national semifinal games.
Renfrow, a fifth-year senior who only scholarship offers from Football Championship Subdivision schools coming out of high school, has 180 career receptions for 2,061 yards and 15 touchdowns in his college career. He caught the game-winning touchdown with one second remaining in Clemson's 35-31 win over Alabama in the national championship game two seasons ago.
California running back Patrick Laird and Wyoming safety Marcus Epps were also finalists for the award, which was presented during a luncheon at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.
The Burlsworth Trophy was established in 2010 and named for former Arkansas offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth. After walking-on to the Razorbacks, Burslworth became an All-American in 1998.
Burlsworth died in a car crash in April 1999, 11 days after he was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
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