American football player Brandon Vaughn Burlsworth (September 20, 1976 – April 28, 1999) played offensive lineman for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1995 to 1998.
He was a walk-on when he first joined the team and went on to be named an All-American.
Despite receiving scholarship offers from other colleges, Burlsworth attended Harrison High School and graduated from their in 1994.
Burlsworth was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the 63rd pick in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately, the star died in 1999, aged 22. So, what happened to Brandon Burlsworth, Arkansas?
What happened to Brandon Burlsworth?
The news of Brandon Burlsworth’s passing stunned his fans, family, and friends. The star was destined for greatness, but his premature passing stole it from him.
As a memorial to the rising star, Jeff Kinley published a book in 2001 called Through the Eyes of a Champion: The Brandon Burlsworth Story.
In addition, a film, Greater, was released in 2016, and it depicted the life of the young future star.
Do you know that the star American football player was killed in an automobile accident near Alpena, Arkansas, on April 28, 1999, while returning to his hometown of Harrison from a workout in Fayetteville?
After swerving back into his lane, Burlsworth’s truck struck an oncoming 18-wheeler and then struck another tractor trailer head-on.
According to the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, the accident occurred ten days after the Indianapolis Colts drafted him. He was traveling with his mother to a church service.
Who killed Brandon, and what was his cause of death?
Relax; nobody killed the young star. According to Brandon Burlsworth’s autopsy report, the impact of the crash was the cause of death.
The doctors immediately declared him dead. According to CBS News, the star was laid to rest on May 2, 1999.
The funeral took place in Omaha’s Gass Cemetery. Family, friends and fans attended the athletes’ final send-off.
The legacy of Brandon Burlsworth is unforgettable
Former offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth is among the best players in the proud history of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Despite the shortness of Burlsworth’s life, his story and charitable contributions live on in the state of Arkansas.
Scholarships in his honor have been established nationwide, as has the Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded to the top walk-on in college football.
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, wide receiver Hunter Renfroe of Clemson, linebacker Grant Morgan of Arkansas, and quarterback Stetson Bennett of Georgia are a few of the best players to have won the award.
Burlsworth’s legacy and charity were the highlights of the 2023 Distinguished Service Awards Banquet held Tuesday evening. He was 26-years-old when he met Brandon.
Watts saw firsthand the work, determination, and growth that Burlsworth demonstrated at a young age to become a walk-on at the collegiate level and a projected starter at the professional level.
His message on Tuesday was to share the benefits that the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation provides.
Their goal is to help underprivileged students see a bright future through the Eyes of a Champion program.
For young children who are visually impaired, they offer resources in all 75 counties of the state and in certain areas of Oklahoma and Texas.
The foundation also provides children from across the state with the chance to go to their first Razorbacks’ football game.
The university has given out multiple $5,000 scholarships to student-athletes and one $10,000 scholarship to one walk-on student athlete a year since 1999.
In 2004, Watts accepted an invitation from Barbara Burlsworth (Brandon’s mother) to join the foundation. His role was to talk about the spiritual side of the foundation with large groups of people.