Tulsa running back Trey Watts has been selected as one of three finalists for The Burlsworth Trophy, it was announced today. The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on.
The three finalists were chosen from an initial list of 53 nominees, which had been narrowed down to 10 semifinalists last week. The 2013 Burlsworth Trophy winner will be announced Monday, Dec. 9, at a ceremony in Springdale, Ark. The winner will join Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin (2012), Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis (2011) and Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford (2010) as recipients of the award.
A senior from Fairfax, Va., Watts (5'11", 200) leads Tulsa in rushing and has the most rushing yards in Conference USA with 1,215 yards through 11 games this season. It marks the second straight 1,000-yard rushing season for Watts, making him only the fourth player in school history with 1,000 yards in two separate seasons.
Last week, Watts had a career-best rushing total for the second straight week with 189 yards and three touchdowns against Louisiana Tech.
Watts ranks fifth in the country for all-purpose yards, 13th for rushing yards and 18th for rushing yards per game. Watts leads C-USA in all-purpose yards with his 174.5-yard average per game. He has turned in seven 100-yard rushing games this season and has 14 for his career.
In his 48-game career, Watts is only the second Tulsa player to surpass 6,000 all-purpose yards with 6,108 yards and is just the third Hurricane player to rush for over 3,000 yards with 3,401 yards and 18 TDs. He has 28 career 100-yard all-purpose games and 14 career 100-yard rushing games. Watts has also caught 104 career passes for 1,152 yards and six touchdowns.
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.