FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas Razorbacks senior middle linebacker Grant Morgan of Greenwood was announced Monday among the semifinalists for the Brandon Burlsworth Award.
Named for the late Brandon Burlsworth of Harrison, originally a Razorbacks walk-on offensive lineman in 1994 who by 1998 not only earned a scholarship was both a 1998 football and Academic All-American and NFL drafted by the Indianapolis Colts before his shortly thereafter tragic death in an automobile accident, the Burlsworth Award honors the season’s best player who began his career as a walk-on.
Morgan becomes the first Razorback named among the 10 semifinalists since the award’s inception.
Despite missing the 3-7 Razorbacks last game with a knee injury, Morgan (111 tackles) leads the SEC in tackles per game, averaging 12.3, and ranks second in the nation and with 71 leads the nation in assisted tackles.
Redshirted as a 2016 freshman under Bret Bielema, Morgan lettered as a reserve behind All-SEC linebacker Scoota Harris for Bielema’s 2017 Razorbacks and in 2018 and 2019 under Chad Morris then blossomed as a starter this season.
The 10 semifinalists announced Monday include receiver Dax Milne, Brigham Young University; punter Will Spiers, Clemson; center Sammy Thompson, Coastal Carolina; place kicker Keith Duncan, Iowa; receiver Calvin Austin, Memphis; linebacker Chris Bergin, Northwestern; center Ry Schneider, Oklahoma State; center Jimmy Morrissey, Pittsburgh, and linebacker Carlton Martial, Troy.