Washington State’s Falk Wins Burlsworth Trophy

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SPRINGDALE (KFSM) – It might have been considered an upset but the third time was the charm for Washington State quarterback Luke Falk.

In his third trip to Springdale as a finalist for the Brandon Burlsworth Trophy, Falk was finally named the winner after being runner-up the past two years to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Sooners’ signal caller was also a finalist this season.

Falk guided Washington State to a 9-3 record. Falk threw for nearly 3,600 yards with 30 touchdowns, completing over 66% of his passes. A three time Burlsworth Trophy finalist, Falk will lead the Cougars against Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl.

Mayfield finished with the second most passing yards in the country, piling up 4,340 through the air. The senior tacked on 310 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns, along with a touchdown to interception ratio of 41 to 5. Mayfield competed 71% of his passes, and will lead the Sooners against Georgia in the Rose Bowl, one of the two College Football Playoff semifinals. The Oklahoma quarterback is also expected to win the Heisman Trophy, the award given to the nation’s best player.

Troy Fumagalli (Senior TE, Wisconsin) caught 43 passes for 516 yards and 4 touchdowns for the 12-1 Badgers. The senior totaled 90 catches and over 1,000 yards the last two seasons and leads Wisconsin against Miami in the Orange Bowl.

Anthony Miller (Senior WR, Memphis) had an outstanding season in Mike Norvell’s offense. The once walk-on caught 92 passes for 1,407 yards and 17 touchdowns, finishing his career with over 3,500 yards and 36 touchdowns. The 1,407 receiving yards were second in the country. Miller and the Tigers face Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl.

The Burlsworth Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk on. It’s named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, an Arkansas walk-on without a Division I scholarship offer, who became a three year starter and all-American. He was selected in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, but was killed in a car accident 11 days later.

Burlsworth Trophy Winners

Year Winner School Pos.
2017 Luke Falk Washington State QB
2016 Baker Mayfield Oklahoma QB
2015 Baker Mayfield Oklahoma QB
2014 Justin Hardy East Carolina WR
2013 Jared Abbrederis Wisconsin WR
2012 Matt McGloin Penn State QB
2011 Austin Davis Southern Miss QB
2010 Sean Bedford  Georgia Tech C