- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) - East Carolina senior wide receiver Justin Hardy has won the Burlsworth Trophy given to the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.

Hardy has amassed more catches than any player in Bowl Subdivision history. He enters the final game of the regular season with 355 catches, breaking the record of 349 previously set by Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles in 2011. The native of Vanceboro, North Carolina, has 89 catches this season and 1,106 yard receiving with seven touchdowns.

Other finalists were Mississippi State guard Ben Beckwith and Iowa running back Mark Weisman.

The award honors former Arkansas standout Brandon Burlsworth, a walk-on who was drafted by Indianapolis in 1999 but was killed in a car wreck before he could play in the NFL.

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