BOISE, Idaho - Boise State State senior defensive end Ryan Winterswyk received a piece of national recognition, Friday (Dec. 3), as he was named one of five finalists for the inaugural Burlsworth Trophy award that honors the nation's top players who started their career as a walk-on.
The Burlsworth Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. Nominees for the award must have started their first season participating with a FBS program without financial aid from their athletic department.
Winterswyk, a La Habra, Calif. (La Habra HS) native, joined the Broncos as a walk-on in January of 2006. Since then he has been a major contributor on the Boise State defense for the past four seasons. This fall Winterswyk is once again one of the Broncos defensive leaders as he currently is tied for first in tackles for loss (7.0). He has also recorded 36 tackles (16 unassisted), 2.5 sacks, one interception, forced one fumble and blocked one kick this season.
Winterswyk currently ranks fourth all-time at Boise State for career tackles for loss (44.5) and fifth in career sacks (21.5).
Winterswyk joins Sean Bedford (Center; Georgia Tech), Josh McNary (Defensive end; Army), Nick Reveiz (Linebacker; Tennessee) and Bryant Ward (Fullback; Oklahoma) as finalists for the award. The winner of the Burlsworth Trophy will be announced Dec. 15.
Boise State will honor Winterswyk and its 17 other seniors, Saturday (Dec. 4), when the Broncos host their regular season finale against Utah State at 1 p.m. at Bronco Stadium.