Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Monday, 21 November 2011 12:16    PDF Print Write e-mail
Ebner Up for Award - Fans Vote
Colleges - College News

Ebner has still found time to play some 7s.Former USA U20 rugby player Nate Ebner has been nominated for he Burlsworth Trophy, which recognized the best college football player who started his career as a walk-on.

A walk-on is defined as a player who began his first season of participation with a D1 (FBS) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.

Ebner enrolled in Ohio State University to play rugby, but walked on with the football team in the hopes of garnering a scholarship to pay for school. He was successful in this, and was named a team captain this season, playing mostly special teams. Ebner was also given permission to play for the Ohio State 7s team in the 2010 and 2011 USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship, and is on the USA 7s team radar.

The 2010 inaugural winner was Georgia Tech Center Sean Bedford, a two-time first team All-ACC selection and named by Sporting News named the aerospace engineering major one of the 20 smartest athletes in the nation.

The Burlsworth Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on at the University of Arkansas in 1994. He became a three-year starter and Arkansas football’s first All American in a decade. Eleven days after being selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft – 63rd overall – he was tragically killed in a car accident.

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.

“With the Burlsworth Trophy only in its second year, the award has become exactly what we envisioned. We are thrilled to see not only the quality of the young men and their work ethics, but these guys are incredible players,” said Marty Burlsworth, Brandon’s brother, and also
chairman and CEO of both The Burlsworth Foundation and The Burlsworth Trophy. “Each player has contributed greatly to his team and we look forward to getting to know the stories behind each one of this year’s nominees.”

Fans can vote for their favorite nominees. Voting starts Tuesday, November 22.

To vote for your favorite (such as Ebner), go to:


The 2011 Burlsworth Trophy nominees are:
Player   Class      Position                School
Cameron Kastl   SR           Long Snapper    Arizona State
Tyler Shoemaker              SR           Wide Receiver   Boise State University
Jameson Frazier               SR           Outside Linebacker         Brigham Young
Philip Price          SR           Offensive Tackle              Clemson University
James Skelton   JR            Linebacker          Colorado State
Alex King             SR           Punter  Duke University
Andrew Bodenheimer   JR            Outside Receiver             East Carolina University
Marcus Bartels  SR           Safety   Florida Atlantic University
B.J. Finney          FR           Center  Kansas State University
Lee Stalker          SR           Defensive Lineman         Kent State University
Jeremiah Taylor                SOPH     Defensive End   Marshall
Anthony Amos  JR            Wide Receiver   Middle Tennessee
Brandon Wilson                JR            Linebacker          Mississippi State University
David Ruffer       SR           Kicker    Notre Dame
Nate Ebner         SR           Defensive Back Ohio State University
Bryson Rose       JR            Kicker    Ole Miss
Mike Remmers SR           Left Tackle          Oregon State University
Kevin Ballinger  SR           Long Snapper    Purdue University
Matt Nordstrom               SR           Linebacker          Rice University
Chandler Jones SOPH     Wide Receiver   San Jose State University
Griff Whalen      SR           Wide Receiver   Stanford University
Caleb Russell      JR            Linebacker          Texas A&M
Andrew Abbott                JR            Cornerback         UCLA
Will Lowery         JR            Defensive Back University of Alabama
John Bonano      SR           Kicker    University of Arizona
Dylan Breeding JR            Punter  University of Arkansas
Ronnie Weaver SR           Running Back     University of Central Florida
Travis Sandersfeld           SR           Defensive Back University of Colorado
Johnny McEntee              JR            Quarterback       University of Connecticut
David Lerner      SR           Punter  University of Florida
Bryant Moniz     SR           Quarterback       University of Hawaii
Patrick Edwards                SR           Wide Receiver   University of Houston
Derek Dimke      SR           Kicker    University of Illinois
Tom Nardo         SR           Defensive Tackle              University of Iowa
Steven Johnson                SR           Linebacker          University of Kansas
Craig McIntosh  JR            Kicker    University of Kentucky
Mitch Huelsing  JR            Safety   University of Memphis
Jordan Kovacs   JR            Safety   University of Michigan
Trey Barrow       JR            Punter/Place Kicker        University of Missouri
Mike Caputo      SR           Offensive Lineman          University of Nebraska
Dominique Whaley         JR            Running Back     University of Oklahoma
Chas Alecxih       SR           Defensive Tackle              University of Pittsburgh
Dalton Wilson    JR            Fullback                University of South Carolina
Gilbert “Chaz” Hine         SR           Center  University of South Florida
Austin Davis       SR           Quarterback       University of Southern Mississippi
Wesley Miller    FR           Safety   University of Texas at El Paso
A.J. Lindeman    JR            Offensive Lineman          University of Toledo
Trey Watts          SOPH     Running Back     University of Tulsa
Ross Cumming  SR           Fullback                University of Southern California
Jared Abbrederis             SOPH     Wide Receiver   University of Wisconsin