Four Big Ten players are among the 10 semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded to the top player in the country who began his career as a walk-on.
Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
Jordan Kovacs, S, Michigan
Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska
Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State
It's kind of hard to believe that these four guys, each of whom is among the best in the league at his position, all started their careers as non-scholarship players. Each one is a strong candidate for the award, and I think McGloin -- who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards in an outstanding senior season -- has to be considered a leading contender.
Fans can vote on the award at www.burlsworthtrophy.com, and their say will make up five percent of the voting. The three Burlsworth Trophy finalists will be announced on Nov. 27, and the winner will revealed Dec. 3 at a banquet in Springdale, Ark.
The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to Arkansas and became a three-year starter on the offensive line and an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft, but was killed in a car accident 11 days later.