Kansas State senior linebacker Trent Tanking is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2017 Burlsworth Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on. That’s according to a release from K-State Athletics.
Tanking is the fourth Wildcat semifinalist up for the award since its inception in 2010, joining offensive lineman B.J. Finney (2012), defensive end Ryan Mueller (2013) and linebacker Jonathan Truman (2014).
A native of Holton, Kansas, Tanking leads K-State and ranks sixth in the Big 12 with 75 tackles this year, including 57 solo stops to rank sixth in the nation. A team captain, Tanking has five double-digit tackle games this season, including four of the six Big 12 contests. He tallied a career-high 13 tackles against TCU, while he had 11 at Texas and 10 against Vanderbilt, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
A special-teams standout for three seasons prior to assuming a starting linebacker role, Tanking is also a semifinalist for the 2017 Campbell Trophy, which is often referred to as the “Academic Heisman.” A two-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 performer, Tanking holds a 3.633 GPA as an industrial engineering major, and he is in line to graduate this coming May.
The Burlsworth Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former walk-on at Arkansas who was a three-year starter and All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by Indianapolis but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later.