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Trey Watts posed with the Burlsworth Trophy before Monday's ceremony.
Trey Watts posed with the Burlsworth Trophy before Monday's ceremony.
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Dec. 9, 2013

Springdale, Arkansas - University of Tulsa running back Trey Watts, Wisconsin receiver Jared Abbrederis and Missouri lineman Max Copeland gathered today at the Springdale Convention Center as the 2013 Burlsworth Trophy winner was announced. Abbrederis was named the 2013 Burlsworth Trophy recipient at today's ceremony.

The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding collegiate football player who began his career as a walk-on. The three finalists were chosen from an initial list of 53 nominees and then narrowed down to 10 semifinalists.

Abbrederis joins Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin (2012), Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis (2011) and Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford (2010) as recipients of the award.

A senior from Fairfax, Va., Watts (5'11", 200) led Tulsa in rushing and had the most rushing yards in Conference USA with 1,329 yards in 12 games. It was the second straight 1,000-yard rushing season for Watts, making him only the fourth player in school history with 1,000 yards in two separate seasons. Watts concluded the season with five straight 100+ rushing games and totaled eight 100-yard rushing performances this season.

Watts ranks seventh in the country for all-purpose yards, 16th for rushing yards and 18th for rushing yards per game. Watts leads C-USA in all-purpose yards with his 171.4-yard average per game.

In his 49-game career, Watts became only the second Tulsa player to surpass 6,000 all-purpose yards with 6,246 yards and is just the third Hurricane player to rush for over 3,000 yards with 3,515 yards and 18 TDs. He had 29 career 100-yard all-purpose games and 15 career 100-yard rushing games. Watts has also caught 104 career passes for 1,152 yards and six touchdowns.

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.