Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Burlsworth Trophy panel announces semifinalists
The Burlsworth Trophy is shown on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, during the Burlsworth Trophy presentation at Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.
FAYETTEVILLE The Burlsworth Trophy selection committee announced its list of 10 semifinalists Tuesday.
The list includes Cal safety and kick returner Ashtyn Davis; UNC-Charlotte defensive end Alex Highsmith; UCLA running back Joshua Kelley; Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship; Memphis tight end Joey Magnifico; Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes; Minnesota defensive lineman Sam Renner; Penn State linebacker Jan Johnson; San Jose State quarterback Josh Love; and Washington defensive back Myles Bryant.
The selection committee will release the three finalists for the trophy Tuesday. The finalists will be honored and the winner announced Dec. 9 at 12:45 p.m. at a luncheon in Springdale hosted by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation and the Springdale Rotary Club.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given annually to the top player in college football who began his career as a walk-on. Burlsworth walked on at Arkansas without a Division I scholarship and became a three-year starter and an All-American in 1998. The Harrison native was selected as the 63rd pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, but died in a traffic accident 11 days later.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.