SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KATV) — Washington State’s Luke Falk has been named the winner of the 2017 Burlsworth Trophy, given to the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.
The announcement came Monday at a ceremony at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center hosted by the Springdale Rotary Club. Inaugural Burlsworth Trophy winner Sean Bedford and Marty Burlsworth, founder and CEO of The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, presented the trophy to Falk, who has been a finalist twice.
In his career, Falk has thrown for 3,224 yards with 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 11 games for the 9-2 Cougars. He ranks in the Top 10 nationally in passing touchdowns and total yards and leads the Pac-12 in passing touchdowns and passing yards. Last week, Falk became the all-time record holder for touchdown passes in Pac-12 history as he passed USC’s Matt Barkley with 118. Falk earned Pac 12 Player of the Week Honors in Week 3 for completing 37 of 49 passes (75.5 percent) for 396 yards and six touchdowns in a 52-23 victory against Oregon State. Falk, who has started all 11 games for the No. 15 Cougars this season, walked on at Washington State with no Division I scholarship offers, rather than accepting a financial aid package to attend Cornell. Falk currently ranks among the NCAA Top 10 in all-time career passing yards, touchdowns and total offense.
Former Razorback walk-on and eventual Indianapolis Colts draft pick Brandon Burlsworth is the trophy's namesake. Burlsworth walked on the team in 1994 and was an All-American offensive lineman in 1998.
Other finalists for the award were Memphis Wide Receiver Anthony Miller, Oklahoma Quarterback Baker Mayfield, and Wisconsin Tight End Troy Fumagalli.