FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Arkansas junior snapper Alan D'Appollonio has been named a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, it was announced Tuesday.
Earlier this season, D'Appollonio became the first snapper to earn weekly SEC player of the week honors since the conference began awarding a special teams player of the week in 2002. The junior from Phoenix, Ariz., hauled in the first reception of his career on a fake punt in the first quarter at Rutgers, catching a 24-yard pass from punter Sam Irwin-Hill on a 4th-and-6 play from the Arkansas 49-yard line. The catch extended the Razorbacks' drive that led to the first points of the game when Zach Hocker, with D'Appollonio snapping, nailed a 41-yard field goal.
D'Appollonio, who snaps on PATs, field goals and punts, has been perfect on snaps so far this season and recorded three tackles. Irwin-Hill currently ranks third in the SEC and 13th in the nation with an average of 44.0 yards per punt, including a 79 yarder vs. South Carolina that is the longest in the conference and tied for second longest in the nation this season. Hocker holds the Arkansas record and is the SEC's active career leader with 340 points scored, and his 166 career PATs made rank as the fifth-highest total among active players in the NCAA.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on. The trophy, which awarded its first winner in 2010, is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on at Arkansas in 1994 and was named an All-American in 1998. He 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. 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.