FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the second consecutive year, Grant Morgan is a finalist for the prestigious Burlsworth Trophy.
The redshirt senior linebacker is one of three finalists for the award, which is given to the most outstanding college football player 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 an FBS program without financial aid of any kind from the university’s athletic department.
This year’s two other finalists include Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett and Troy linebacker Carlton Martial. Morgan was a finalist for the 2020 Burlsworth Trophy alongside BYU wide receiver Dax Milne and Pitt offensive lineman Jimmy Morrissey, the award’s eventual winner.
Morgan, who began his career at Arkansas as a walk-on, was one of the best players in all of college football last year after producing one of the greatest seasons in school history. The Greenwood, Ark., product, was named a Walter Camp and AFCA Second Team All-American, posting a team-best 111 total tackles, including 7.5 for loss, with 2.0 sacks in 2020 to become only the second Razorback defender in the last 10 seasons to garner both AP and Coaches All-SEC recognition.
A team captain for the second season in a row, Morgan has continued to make an impact in 2021. He is third on the Hogs in total tackles (78) and tackles for loss (6.0) with 0.5 sacks, three pass breakups and an interception this year.
Morgan is also a finalist for this year’s William V. Campbell Trophy – better known as college football’s Academic Heisman – which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
The Burlsworth Trophy, in its 12th year, is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American. Without one D1 scholarship offer, Burlsworth walked on at Arkansas in 1994, eventually becoming a three-year starter on the offensive line and an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 63rd overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft, but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later.
The Burlsworth Trophy award ceremony to honor the three finalists and announce the 2021 winner will occur at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark.