Senior offensive guard Spencer Long has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy. This marks the second straight season Long has been a semifinalist for the national award.
Named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, an Arkansas walk-on who went on to become an All-American before losing his life in a car crash 11 days after he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, the trophy is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding football player that began his career as a walk-on. Nebraska has a semifinalist for the trophy for the third straight season, as center Mike Caputo was a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy as a senior in 2011, before Long’s recognition the past two years.
A native of Elkhorn, Neb., Long walked on to the Husker program in 2009. After redshirting his first year and not seeing any game action in 2010, Long was one of three offensive linemen to start every game in 2011. His play on the line helped Nebraska rank 14th nationally in rushing offense and paved the way for All-Big Ten running back Rex Burkhead to rush for 1,357 yards.
Long earned a scholarship prior to the 2012 season and was a dominant force from his guard position. Long helped quarterback Taylor Martinez and I-back Ameer Abdullah each top the 1,000-yard rushing barrier in 2012. Long was a first-team All-Big Ten choice and second-team All-America pick for his effort.
Long’s senior season was cut short after he suffered a knee injury against Purdue in October. Early in the season he helped lead a Nebraska offense that rushed for better than 300 yards three times in non-conference play.
Long has also excelled in the classroom at Nebraska. He is a three-time academic All-District VII selection and is a strong candidate for Academic All-America honors this fall. He was also chosen as one of 16 Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes to receive the National Scholar-Athlete Award from the National Football Foundation. The honor carries an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite candidate at www.burslworthtrophy.com. From the list of 10 semifinalists, three finalists will be announced later this month.
Burlsworth Trophy Semifinalists
Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin, WR
Max Copeland, Missouri, OG
Jake Doughty, Utah State, LB
Justin Hardy, East Carolina, WR
Spencer Long, Nebraska, OG
Cody Mandell, Alabama, P
Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech, QB
Ryan Mueller, Kansas State, DE
Jack Tyler, Virginia Tech, LB
Trey Watts, Tulsa, RB