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Wake Forest LB Hunter Williams Announced as Burlsworth Trophy Semi-Finalist

Wake Forest linebacker Hunter Williams is up for a unique award at the end of the year.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest senior linebacker Hunter Williams has been named as a Burlsworth Trophy Semi-Finalist, awarded annually to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on.

He is one of ten players invited to attend a ceremony in Springdale, Arkansas on December 7th.

Scanning the names on the list, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield jumps out at me as the favorite to take him the title, but it is quite the honor to be mentioned and named a semi-final on a list like this.

The press release, including the write-up on Hunter Williams is included below:

Today, the Burlsworth Trophy selection committee and the Springdale Rotary Club announce the top 10 semi-finalists for the 2015 award. The Burlsworth Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on. Burlsworth's life is also the subject of a new major motion picture, "GREATER", which will be released on January 22, 2016.

Robert Hunter Williams, Wake Forest, OLB, SR - 2013 was a breakout season for Williams, playing in 11 games and starting 9 while recording 39 tackles.  He was a Team Captain in 2014 and amassed 60 tackles that year.  He was chosen as a Team captain in 2015 for a 2nd consecutive year. He was named to the Pre-Season All-ACC Team.  He currently leads team in TFL’s (7.5), 2nd in sack (3.0).  He has 47 total tackles so far this year.

The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth. Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon walked on to the Razorback team in 1994, worked his way to being 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 "GREATER" Fan Vote counts as 5 percent during each round of voting, and it is combined with the results from the Selection Committee. Fans can cast their vote for the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on once per day. Fan Vote totals are cleared after each round.

For more information about the Burlsworth Trophy, visit

Congratulations to Hunter Williams, as he continues to epitomize what being a Wake Forest student-athlete is all about.