FAYETTEVILLE – Among other bonuses for Grant Morgan returning in 2021 to the University of Arkansas as a sixth-year super senior , the linebacker from Greenwood Monday night was voted the Brandon Burlsworth Trophy for which he was a finalist last year.
At the Burlsworth Award banquet Monday night at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Morgan was selected over fellow finalists Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett and Troy University linebacker Carlton Martial. Named for the late Brandon Burlsworth of Harrison, an offensive lineman beginning his Arkansas career as a redshirting walk-on for Danny Ford’s 1994 Razorbacks, and concluding it as a 4-year letterman first as a top alternate offensive guard for Ford’s 1995 SEC West champions and 1996-98 starting guard earning both football and academic All-America while starring for Houston Nutt’s 1998 Razorbacks and NFL drafted by the Indianapolis Colts shortly before dying in an automobile accident, the Burlsworth Award honors the season’s best player who began his career as a walk-on.
For the 8-4 Outback Bowl bound Razorbacks, Morgan made 96 tackles, second on the team to fellow linebacker Bumper Pool.
Morgan made seven tackles for losses of 17 yards, intercepted a pass and broke up three others all the while as a grad student pre-med major already with a masters degree.
Last season, when Morgan was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy awarded University of Pittsburgh center Jimmy Morrissey, Morgan made 111 tackles, seven for losses, intercepted a pass he returned for a touchdown and broke up six passes.
Morgan and all 2020 seniors if invited to return, were granted a 2021 season of senior eligibility due to the covid-19 pandemic so disrupting all of 2020-20121 athletics.
Morgan is a candidate for two more awards, as one of 13 finalists for the Campbell Trophy, regarded as the “Academic Heisman” to be presented next Tuesday in Las Vegas, and as one of 20 semifinalists for the Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award to be presented in February in Frisco, Texas.