Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan receives 2021 Burlsworth Trophy

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  • Brandon Burlsworth
    American football player (1976-1999)
  • Grant Morgan
    American football linebacker

BENTONVILLE — In a full-circle moment Monday, Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan became the first Razorback to win the Burlsworth Trophy. The award, named for former Razorback Brandon Burlsworth, is given annually to the most outstanding football player who began his career as a walk-on.

An awards ceremony was held at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, where Morgan received the award. The other two finalists were Troy linebacker Carlton Martial and Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett.

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Morgan started his career as a preferred walk-on in 2016. He was placed on full scholarship before the 2018 season. As a super-senior in 2021, Morgan is a second-year captain and Arkansas' second-leading tackler with 96 total tackles. He is third in tackles for loss with seven for 17 yards.

The Burlsworth Trophy has been awarded every year since 2010. Its namesake was an Arkansas offensive lineman from 1995 to 1998. The Harrison, Arkansas, native walked on and became a three-year starter, All-American and NFL Draft pick. He was killed in a car accident just days after the 1999 NFL Draft.

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Morgan, like Burlsworth, is an Arkansas native. He is part of a trio of linebackers, including Bumper Pool and Hayden Henry, who have emerged as leaders for Arkansas.

"Great leader, he speaks well," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said of Morgan on Sunday. "I hope he wins every award that he’s going for. Because I know there are deserving kids out there, but he deserves every one that he’s up for. We love him."

Morgan is also a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, which is given to the best senior or graduate student-athlete in athletics, academics and leadership. The award comes with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and will be announced on Dec. 7 in Las Vegas.

Christina Long covers the Arkansas Razorbacks. You can email her at clong@swtimes.com or follow her on Twitter @christinalong00.

This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Arkansas football's Grant Morgan receives 2021 Burlsworth Trophy

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