Nov. 12, 2013
By: Matt Burkholder
SPRINGDALE, Ark. - Fresno State senior defensive back Jonathan Norton was named on Tuesday as a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy. The Burlsworth Trophy and presenting sponsor, the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club, announced 53 student-athletes to the 2013 list that includes standout players and national statistical leaders from every major conference in the nation.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on. A walk-on is defined as a player who began his first season of participation with a Division I (FBS) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university's athletic department.
Norton, a Moreno Valley, Calif. native, has played in all nine games of 2013 season thus far and has been a key contributor to the 'Dogs and their undefeated season. Norton has registered 29 tackles with 26 being solo stops, along with three tackles for loss and one sack. He has also been credited with one quarterback hurry and two pass breakups.
One of Norton's two pass breakups this season could arguably be noted as one of Fresno State's top highlights of its 9-0 season. On Sept. 20 in front of a sellout crowd on national television against Boise State, Fresno State's defense was up against a 4th-and-6 at the Bulldogs' 49 with a minute remaining in the game. To preserve the win, Norton broke up Joe Southwick's pass as he knocked the ball out of Kirby Moore's hands to seal the Bulldogs' 41-40 victory. The win was Fresno State's first against the Broncos in seven years and it catapulted the 'Dogs into the AP Top 25 rankings for the first time since 2008.
The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to the Arkansas Razorbacks 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 killed in a car accident 11 days 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.
"The 2013 class of Burlsworth Trophy nominees are an outstanding group of young men," said Marty Burlsworth, CEO and founder of the Burlsworth Foundation and brother of Brandon. "They represent their schools well and embody everything that the Burlsworth Trophy stands for: hard word, dedication and a commitment to excellence."
For more information about the Burlsworth Trophy, visit www.burlsworthtrophy.com.
"Catch the Wave" - Tickets for Fresno State regular season finale against New Mexico on Nov. 23 are still available and can be purchased online at gobulldogs.com, over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647) or in person at the Bulldog Ticket Office located at Bulldog Stadium. The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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