GREENWOOD, Arkansas — The City of Greenwood has had a roller-coaster of a week emotionally. After a loss in the state 6A football championship to El Dorado on Saturday, the town is celebrating one of their own being named this year’s Brandon Burlsworth Trophy winner.
On Monday, Dec. 6, University of Arkansas senior linebacker Grant Morgan made history by winning the prestigious award. Since its creation in 2010, no Arkansas Razorback player has won the award named after former walk-on player Brandon Burlsworth.
The trophy is a tribute to the late Burlsworth who died shortly after his collegiate career on The Hill. In 1994, Burlsworth arrived on campus as an offensive lineman from Harrison who had dreams of playing for the Razorbacks but had no scholarship offer to do so. Instead, he became a walk-on for the team and after countless hours of hard work, patience and dedication Burlsworth got his opportunity to live out his dreams of donning Razorback red on Saturdays.
In the years that followed his untimely death, the Brandon Burlsworth Trophy has been awarded to the most outstanding college football player who began their career as a walk-on.
With many accolades to his name, it might be hard to believe Grant Morgan, like Burlsworth, began his career as a walk-on for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
After being named a finalist for the award in 2020, Grant Morgan made history after he was named this year’s winner – the first ever for a Razorback.
“There was never a doubt in my mind that he could be this successful,” said Morgan’s older brother and former teammate Drew Morgan.
A sentiment was echoed by Chris Young, the head coach of the Greenwood Bulldogs.
“It was hard, he knew he was going to have to work but look what he did,” Young said. "It’s just a great testament to not only Grant but kids all over, that if you work hard you make your dreams come true.”
Around Greenwood, fans have followed the Morgan brothers during their time with the Razorbacks, and hearing about Grant winning the Burlsworth Trophy they couldn’t be happier for their former Bulldog.
“You can put it on any scale you want to put it on and it’s going to be right up there at the top,” said long-time fan Curtis Weaver.
Others close to the Greenwood Bulldog team and the Morgan family say they know the type of leader Grant is on and off the field and how hard he works to achieve his goals.
They say they are proud of all that Grant Morgan has accomplished going from walk-on to defensive captain leading the Razorbacks to an 8-4 record and an Outback Bowl appearance against Penn State on New Year’s Day.
RELATED: Grant Morgan wins Burlsworth Trophy
RELATED: Three Razorbacks Named All-SEC