Burlsworth, Brandon From Walk-On to All-Star America died before achieving his NFL ambitions.
There are numerous famous underdog stories in the world of sports. Brandon Burlsworth and his college football career deserve to be at the top of the list, even if you don’t know his name. However, his life and career ended in tragedy rather than triumph.
Brandon Burlsworth appeared to be on track to fulfill his NFL goals after graduating from the University of Arkansas.
However, the lineman sadly died in an off-season accident before ever playing on the field.
Brandon Burlsworth advanced from a walk-on to a scholarship player at Arkansas
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There have been many outstanding players in Arkansas football history.
Few of them, though, have taken the same path as Brandon Burlsworth.
Burlsworth was never the most athletic player, as explained in an ESPN college football video; in high school, he was slow and soft, and didn’t see meaningful playing time until his junior year.
He enjoyed the sport, though, and by the time he graduated, he had earned all-state accolades.
Despite receiving offers from smaller institutions, Burlsworth desired to play for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.
He went onto the squad and, despite spending a season as a redshirt on the scout team, established his worth; the offensive lineman had earned a scholarship before his second year.
Burlsworth, on the other hand, took advantage of his opportunity.
He was named first-team All-SEC in 1997 and 1998, and he was also a first-team All-American in 1998.
Just days after the NFL Draft, a horrible death occurred
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Brandon Burlsworth appeared to be on the verge of making the NFL after rising to prominence at Arkansas.
The Indianapolis Colts made the lineman’s aspirations come true by selecting him with the 63rd overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft.
Burlsworth, on the other hand, was never able to join the Colts.
Tragic events occurred just days following the draft.
Burlsworth was traveling home to Harrison, Arkansas in April 1999, according to the Colts’ official website; “he planned to head home, have dinner with his mother, Barbara, and attend a Wednesday night church session.”
The linemen, on the other hand, would never appear.
“Burlsworth was slain 15 miles from home on a road he’d driven for years when his car strayed into the oncoming lane,” the report stated.
“Two collisions followed, and a brilliant human with vast talents’ life was over.”
Brandon Burlsworth’s legacy lives on more than two decades after his untimely death
Brandon Burlsworth has never let adversity deter him from accomplishing his dreams in football.
Despite the fact that the lineman’s life and career ended in tragedy, he is still making an impact more than 20 years later.
Following his death, those close to him established the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation; the foundation’s website states that the “Christian organization’s objective is to help the physical and spiritual needs of children, particularly those with restricted chances.”
The foundation promotes a strong faith, character, and sportsmanship, as well as the development of positive values and a life pattern that exemplifies “Doing It The Burls Way.”
There are numerous programs under the organization’s scope.
For example, Eyes of a Champion assists in “providing free vision screenings and spectacles to poor to moderate income, uninsured children.”
Burls Kids, which has locations in both Arkansas and Indiana, takes children to football games and gives them a unique experience.
The foundation also hosts football camps and prizes and scholarships.
Brandon Burlsworth would have had an impact on the football field if he had joined the Indianapolis Colts.
While his sad death terminated his football career, it did not stop the lineman from changing the world.