LUBBOCK, Texas – Freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield is one of 10 semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the most outstanding collegiate football student-athlete who began his career as a walk-on.
Mayfield, a true freshman from Lake Travis, generated national headlines when he became the first true freshman walk-on to start a season opening game for a BCS program. In that game at SMU, Mayfield threw for 413 yards (43-of-60) and four touchdowns to lead the Red Raiders to a 41-23 win over the Mustangs. That game garnered Mayfield the “Best Debut Award” from ESPN as well as Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week.
Since the season opener, Mayfield has made five additional starts including last week’s setback against No. 4 Baylor at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. He has compiled 2,078 passing yards (194-of-296) and thrown 12 touchdown passes. Against Baylor, he threw for 314 yards (28-of-51), rushed for 35 yards and threw four touchdown passes.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on. A walk-on is defined as a player who began his first season of participation with a Division I (FBS) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.
The 2012 winner was Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin, who set nine school records during his senior year and made his first NFL start last week for the Oakland Raiders. Previous Burlsworth Trophy winners were Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis in 2011, and Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford in 2010.
Fans are allowed to vote for their favorite player via the Fan Vote at www.burlsworthtrophy.com. Fans are limited to one vote per day, and the voting will conclude Sunday, Nov. 24, at midnight CST. The Fan Vote counts as 5 percent during each round of voting, and it is combined with the results from the Selection Committee. Fan Vote totals are cleared after each round.
The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to the Arkansas Razorbacks in 1994, worked his way to being 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 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 that have limited opportunities.
The 10 semifinalists are: Jared Abbrederis, WR (Sr., Wisconsin); Max Copeland, OL (Sr., Missouri); Jake Doughty, LB (Sr., Utah State); Justin Hardy, WR (Jr., East Carolina); Spencer Long, OL (Sr., Nebraska); Cody Mandell, P (Sr., Alabama); Baker Mayfield, QB (Fr., Texas Tech); Ryan Mueller, DE (Jr., Kansas State); Jack Tyler, LB (Sr., Virginia Tech); Trey Watts, RB (Sr., Tulsa).