clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arkansas Football Countdown: 77 Days - Brandon Burlsworth

A Razorback legend.

Brandon Burlsworth's 77 is one of two retired jerseys in Razorback football history.

The Harrison, Arkansas native came to Fayetteville as a walk-on in 1994 and working his way into becoming an All-American in the 1998 season.

He was the first (only?) Arkansas football player to complete his master's degree before he played his last game.

The Burlsworth Trophy was created in his name and is given annually to the most outstanding player in college football who began his career as a walk-on.

He was tragically killed in a car crash just 11 days after being drafted in the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft by Indianapolis, but his spirit is kept alive by, among others, the work of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, which allows Burlsworth to be mentioned during every home Razorback game during the introduction of the "Burls Kids", a group of underprivileged youth that get a chance to see the Hogs in person through the Foundation.

The Burlsworth Foundation, inspired by Burlsworth's famous thick glasses, also helps children get eye care through its Eyes of a Champion program.

Burlsworth's story may find a wider audience soon, as casting and shooting of Greater: The Brandon Burlsworth Story began recently. It's a movie based on Burlsworth's life and is expected to be released in fall 2014.

Burlsworth is known as much for his character and work ethic as for his playing ability. That's why his story continues to be told and at every home Razorback game we'll get a reminder to "Do it the Burls way".