Brandon Burlsworth: A Football Hero Taken Too Soon

Brandon Burlsworth was not just a football player; he was a symbol of determination, hard work, and perseverance. His journey from a walk-on player to a standout lineman at the University of Arkansas captured the hearts of many. However, his promising career was tragically cut short, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire.

Brandon Burlsworth: A Football Sensation

Born on September 20, 1976, in Harrison, Arkansas, Brandon Burlsworth had a passion for football from a young age. Despite not being heavily recruited out of high school, Burlsworth’s unwavering dedication led him to walk on to the University of Arkansas football team in 1994.

Brandon Burlsworth

His work ethic and talent quickly caught the attention of coaches and teammates alike. Burlsworth’s exceptional performance on the field earned him a scholarship and eventually a starting position as an offensive lineman.

The Tragic End

On April 28, 1999, tragedy struck the football world when Brandon Burlsworth was killed in a car accident at the age of 22. The news sent shockwaves through the sports community, as fans and fellow players struggled to come to terms with the loss of such a promising talent.

Cause of Death

The cause of Brandon Burlsworth’s death was determined to be a result of the car accident he was involved in. Despite wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, Burlsworth suffered fatal injuries upon impact. The accident occurred just days after he was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the NFL Draft.

Brandon Burlsworth

Legacy of Brandon Burlsworth

Although Brandon Burlsworth’s life was tragically cut short, his impact on the football world continues to be felt to this day. In honor of his memory, the Burlsworth Trophy was established in 2010, awarded annually to the most outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

Remembering Brandon

Tributes and memorials dedicated to Brandon Burlsworth serve as a reminder of his enduring legacy. From the unveiling of a statue outside the University of Arkansas’ football stadium to the annual Burlsworth Football Camp for kids, his spirit lives on through the lives he touched.

Lessons Learned

The untimely death of Brandon Burlsworth serves as a poignant reminder of the fragility of life. His story underscores the importance of perseverance, dedication, and humility in the face of adversity. Burlsworth’s legacy continues to inspire countless individuals to pursue their dreams with unwavering determination.


In conclusion, Brandon Burlsworth may have been taken from us far too soon, but his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him. His story serves as a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and the enduring impact one individual can have on the world around them.


Was Brandon Burlsworth’s death preventable?

While accidents are inherently unpredictable, it serves as a reminder to always prioritize safety on the road.

What was Brandon Burlsworth’s impact on the University of Arkansas?

Burlsworth’s influence extended far beyond the football field, as he inspired countless students and athletes with his story.

How can I support the Burlsworth Foundation?

Donations to the Burlsworth Foundation help support programs and initiatives that honor Brandon’s memory and provide opportunities for young athletes.

What is the significance of the Burlsworth Trophy?

The Burlsworth Trophy recognizes the achievements of college football players who, like Brandon Burlsworth, began their careers as walk-ons.

How can I honor Brandon Burlsworth’s memory?

Whether through acts of kindness, dedication to one’s craft, or supporting charitable causes, honoring Brandon Burlsworth’s memory is about embodying the values he stood for.

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