BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — UB tight end Jake Molinich is one of 67 Division I FBS players nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, the school announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in America that started his career as a walk-on, and has shown outstanding performance on the field.
Molinich walked onto the Bulls football team in 2016. Since then, he has worked hard to become one of the best blocking tight ends in the MAC, and a key component to UB’s high-powered offense. The 2020 team captain has started in 17 games over the last two seasons, and is a critical blocker in the Bulls’ record-breaking ground game.
In the award’s eleventh year, the Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas Walk-On and All-American offensive lineman.
The 2019 winner was defensive end Kenny Willekes from Michigan State University. After receiving no division one scholarship offers, Willekes walked-on at Michigan State, where he became All-American, the Big 10 Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Michigan State’s all-time leader in tackles for loss (51). The 2018 winner was Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow, who had 186 receptions for 2133 yards and 15 touchdowns, four of which were in national championship games.