For the second straight year, Indiana fifth-year senior wide receiver Luke Timian is a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, the award announced in conjunction with the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with an FBS football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.
Timian became the 22nd Hoosier to reach 100 receptions and 1,000 yards in week three against Ball State. He has 120 catches, 12 shy of 10th place on IU’s career list, for 1,196 yards and four touchdowns.
The Southlake, Texas, native walked on at Indiana in 2015 and 2016 before he earned a scholarship during 2017 fall camp.
In 2018, Timian is second on the team with 31 grabs and 279 yards in six games. He has recorded at least five receptions in five contests.
Timian was second on the team with 68 catches (3rd in the Big Ten, T-39th nationally, T-6th on IU single-season list) for 589 yards (13th in the Big Ten) to go along with two TDs en route to 2017 honorable mention All- Big Ten.
In the award’s ninth year, the trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. Burlsworth’s life is also the subject of a major motion picture, “GREATER”, which was released in 2016.
The 2017 winner was quarterback Luke Falk from Washington State University. A three-year starter for WSU, Falk broke the PAC-12 record for career passing yards during his senior season. He is now a member of the Miami Dolphins. The 2015 and 2016 winner was Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, who was the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
“We are now in our ninth year of this award and I’m amazed at the inspiring stories we hear each year.” said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation and older brother of Brandon. “Beginning your college career as a walk-on is certainly not an easy thing to do. These young men accepted that challenge, when others told them ‘you can’t’, they said ‘I can!'”
Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth walked on at the University of Arkansas in 1994. He became 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 tragically 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 who have limited opportunities.
The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in conjunction with Springdale Rotary Club, will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 3, 2018, in Springdale, Ark., to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2018 winner.