admin | Posted: 30 Oct 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Burlsworth Trophy announces Gavin Fowler as one of 69 nominees

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.– The Burlsworth Trophy in conjunction with the Springdale Rotary Club announced BYU defensive back and special teams standout, Gavin Fowler, as one of 69 players nominated from Division I (FBS) schools from across the country for the 2018 Burlsworth Trophy.

In the award’s ninth year, the Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. 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 FBS (D1) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.

Fowler, a senior, has been BYU’s placekicking holder the past two seasons in addition to playing on special teams kick and punt cover units, along with defensive back. Fowler’s heroics in handling a low snap proved to be the difference in converting BYU’s game-winning field goal in a 24-21 upset victory over No. 6 Wisconsin earlier this year.  

The 2017 winner was quarterback Luke Falk from Washington State University. A three-year starter for WSU, Falk broke the PAC-12 record for career passing yards during his senior season. He is now a member of the Miami Dolphins. The 2015 and 2016 winner was Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield who was the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

“We are now in our ninth year of this award and I’m amazed at the inspiring stories we hear each year.” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “Beginning your college career as a walk-on is certainly not an easy thing to do. These young men accepted that challenge, when others told them ‘you can’t’, they said ‘I can!’”

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 Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in conjunction with Springdale Rotary Club, will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 3, 2018 in Springdale, Arkansas, to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2018 winner.

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