HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 24, 2011, via University of Houston Press Release) Houston wide receiver Patrick Edwards was named a semifinalist for the 2011 Brandon Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top football player in college football that began his career as a walk-on.
Edwards, a native of Hearne, Texas, has been one of the country’s top receivers in 2011 and ranks No. 2 nationally with 14 touchdown receptions and is second in total receiving yards (1,315). The 5-foot-9 senior began his career as a walk-on at UH in 2007, but quickly became a key contributor as a redshirt freshman, catching 46 passes for 634 yards and four TDs before suffering a devastating leg injury in a game at Marshall.
Following an off-season of extensive rehabilitation, Edwards returned to the lineup in 2009 and caught a career high 85 passes for 1,021 yards and six scores en route to all-conference accolades. As a junior he continued his stellar production, racking up first team All-Conference USA honors with 71 grabs for 1,100 yards and 13 TDs, and has 66 catches for a career high 1,315 yards and 14 scores in 2011. His 1,315 yards and 14 scores this season are career highs and his 4,070 career receiving yards are tops in school history. His 37 career receiving TDs are also the most in school history and second all-time in the Conference USA annals.
The Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth. Without any Division 1 scholarship offer, Brandon walked on to the 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 11days 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.
Fans will be allowed to vote for their favorite player via the AT&T Fan Vote beginning, Nov. 22 at http://BurlsworthTrophy.com. 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 and the voting will conclude Dec. 6. The winner of The Burlsworth Trophy will be announced Dec. 9 at a banquet in Springdale, Ark. sponsored by the Springdale Rotary Club.
Edwards and the No. 7-ranked Cougars (11-0, 7-0) return to action on Friday at 11 a.m. CT at Tulsa (8-3, 7-0). The contest will be televised nationally on FSN and the game will decide the winner of the Conference USA West Division. The winner of that contest will also host the C-USA Championship Game, which will be played next Saturday.