Utah State senior offensive lineman Austin Albrecht is one of 52 football players across the country nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, it was announced Tuesday by the Springdale Rotary Club.
The Burlsworth Trophy, now in its seventh year, is given annually to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on.
For Utah State, Albrecht’s nomination marks the seventh time in as many years that the Aggies have had a player nominated for the award, joining defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen (2015), linebacker Zach Vigil (2014), linebacker Jake Doughty (2013), safety McKade Brady (2012), wide receiver Eric Moats (2011) and defensive lineman Levi Koskan (2010).
Vigil was one of 10 semifinalists, including the only player from the Mountain West and Beehive State, for the trophy in 2014.
Albrecht is one of six players from the Mountain West to be nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, joining Colorado State defensive lineman Jakob Buys, Nevada offensive lineman Jeremy Macauley, New Mexico defensive back Jake Rothschiller, San Diego State offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill and San José State wide receiver/kick returner Tim Crawley. The native of Sandy, Utah, is also one of two players from the Beehive State to be nominated, along with BYU offensive lineman Parker Dawe.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Albrecht redshirted his first season at Utah State in 2012 and did not see any action the following season. Since then, he has played in 35 straight games for the Aggies, including starting 23.
As part of his 141 career knockdowns, Albrecht has a team-best 66 knockdowns this season, including a career-high 12 in Utah State’s last outing against San Diego State.
The Burlsworth Trophy is named after Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to the Arkansas football team in 1994 without one Division I scholarship offer. He became a three-year starter for the Razorbacks 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 that have limited opportunities.
The Springdale Rotary Club will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 5, to honor the three finalists and announce the 2016 winner.
Albrecht and the Aggies return to action on Saturday, Nov. 5, when they take on Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. The game is slated to kick off at 8:15 p.m., and can be seen live on ESPN2.