October 6, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin (11) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Northwestern Wildcats at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Matt McGloin Named Top Former Walk-On

There was of course no Penn State football game this past weekend, but that did not stop the Nittany Lions from partaking in what has become something of a tradition this season, collecting some Monday hardware.  At a ceremony held earlier today in Arkansas, senior quarterback Matt McGloin was announced as the winner of the Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the country’s top player who began his career as a walk-on.

November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin (11) throws a pass during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the 2012 season, McGloin had gone 243 for 446 for 3,119 yards, 22 TDs and 14 interceptions while splitting the quarterback duties with Rob Bolden.  McGloin of course beat out Bolden in spring practice, being named the starter by Bill O’Brien during the summer.  The Scranton product took advantage of the confidence the staff showed in him, more than matching his career numbers in just 12 games.  On the season, McGloin set Penn State season records with 270 completions, 446 attempts, 3,271 yards and 24 touchdowns.  McGloin also set the Penn State career touchdown passing mark with 46.  The biggest transformation came in McGloin’s decision making, throwing just 5 interceptions on the season, matching the number of picks throwing in the infamous 2011 Outback Bowl vs. Florida.

McGloin was selected over Michigan senior safety Jordan Kovacs, and San Jose State senior defensive tackle David Quessenberry. The award is named after former Arkansas walk-on guard Brandon Burlsworth, who became a 3 year starter for the Razorbacks, earning All American honors his senior year, before being drafted 63rd overall by the Colts in April of 1999.  Burlsworth never played a snap in the NFL, however, dying in a car accident just 11 days after being drafted.

The honor gives Coach O’Brien and his staff another selling point, as they work the recruiting trail with limited scholarships, looking for “run-on” candidates, willing to pay their own way to suit up for the Blue and White.

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