Nov. 29, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-- Stanford senior wide receiver Griff Whalen is one of three finalists, along with Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis and Houston wideout Patrick Edwards, for the Burlsworth Trophy, named for the top college football player who started his career as a walk-on.
Whalen came to Stanford as a safety and as a senior for the No. 4 Cardinal, the converted wide receiver has caught a team-best 49 passes for 664 yards with four touchdowns. Whalen is averaging 13.6 yards per catch and and more than surpassed his career total entering the season of 24 catches for 309 yards. He has twice surpassed 100 yards in a game this season, going for six catches for 102 yards against USC and nine catches for 107 yards two weeks later against Oregon.
As part of the vote for the Burlsworth Trophy, fans can vote once per day until December 7. The fan vote counts for five percent of the overall vote. The trophy is named after the late Brandon Burlsworth, who walked onto the Arkansas football team in 1994, became and All-American and was the 63rd overall pick of the Colts. He died in a car accident 11 days after the 1999 NFL draft. The Burlsworth Foundation was set up in his memory and supports children with special needs.
The initial list was 51 nominees, which were narrowed down to 10 semifinalists. The winner will be announced in Springdale, Arkansas and presented by the Springdale Rotary Club. The award is in its second year.