FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Tennessee linebacker Colton Jumper has been named one of 52 national candidates for the 2016 Burlsworth Trophy, as announced this week by the Burlsworth Trophy and the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club.
Now in its seventh year, the Burlsworth Trophy recognizes the most outstanding Division I (FBS) football player who began his collegiate career as a walk-on and has since demonstrated an exceptional on-field performance.
The award is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former University of Arkansas offensive lineman who began his career as a walk-on with the Razorbacks. Burlsworth went on to become a 1998 All-American and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1999. Tragically, he was killed in a car accident 11 days after his NFL Draft selection. His life story is soon to be released in a major motion picture, "Greater".
Jumper has played in eight games with the Volunteers in 2016, making five starts at middle linebacker and one start at weak-side linebacker. His 45 total tackles rank second on the team entering Week 10. He also accomplished career-high tackles in back-to-back games against Florida (8) and Georgia (11) this season.
While establishing career high numbers in 2016, Jumper also recorded his first-ever forced fumble against Georgia. He went on to make 10 tackles and the first interception of his career at Texas A&M, picking off Aggies quarterback Trevor Knight on a tipped pass.
After joining the Vols in 2014 as a walk-on, Jumper earned a scholarship with Tennessee Football prior to the start of his junior season in 2016.
Springdale Rotary Club will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 5 in Springdale, Arkansas to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2016 winner.