Steven Johnson Named a Semi-Finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy

Nov. 23, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson has been named a semi-finalist for the 2011 Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the top player in college football that began his career as a walk-on. Johnson is one of 10 finalists for the award, which will be handed out on Dec. 9 at a banquet in Springdale, Ark.

Fans will be allowed to vote for their favorite player via the AT&T Fan Vote at Voting will begin with the top 10 semi-finalists and continue as the selection committee announces the top three Burlsworth Trophy finalists on Nov. 29. Fans are limited to one vote per day until Dec. 6.

Johnson, a senior linebacker from Media, Pa., leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks 12th among NCAA Division I players with 114 total tackles. He also ranks 27th in the country in solo stops with 54. The 6-foot-1 senior has recorded double-digit tackle numbers in seven of KU’s 11 contests this season, including a career-best 18 stops at Texas on Oct. 29. His 18 tackles that day were the most by a Jayhawk since 2003.

Johnson was named to the Phil Steele Magazine Midseason All-Big 12 team in October and has been recognized as KU’s Defensive Player of the Week four times this season.

The Burlsworth Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to the Arkansas Razorbacks 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 that have limited opportunities.