California defensive back Ashtyn Davis, Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship and Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes are finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the top college football player who began his career as a walk-on.
Davis is one of the top safeties in the country, ranking third on Cal in tackles with 49. Blankenship is 19 for 22 on field goals this season and has scored 92 points for Georgia. Willekes has 10 tackles for loss, including 6½ sacks for Michigan State.
The trophy is named for former Arkansas offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth, who went from walk-on to All-American. Burlsworth was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round in 1999 but was killed in a car accident less than a month later.